Sunday, June 28, 2009

We’re Under Attack…

They’ve invaded our home. They’re in our yard. They’ve taken up residence in our shed. There’s no escaping them!

Well, maybe it’s not so bad as that… but it’s still pretty bad. The invaders? These pretty little fellas…

Meet, the earwig. These suckers have been found crawling in all sorts of places in our house. (and outside, as well) Mostly, in and around the bathrooms. We think they’re creeping in from under the tub and other lovely spots.

I’ve become quite the expert earwig squisher (yes, I believe that’s the technical term) and have come to save the day (for Zack) many a time. Oh what us mommies won’t do…

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lending a Hand to Military Marriages

So, next month Josh and the boys and I will be taking part in a fundraiser that's for a GREAT cause - so I thought I'd share about it here as well. This is the email I've been sharing with friends and family - we'd love your help, as well!

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Hello friends and family!

Coming up next month, Josh and I (and the boys, too!) will be taking part in America's Family Coaches 1st Annual Walk for Military Marriages. It's a great opportunity to say thank you to the military men and women who are serving and protecting us.

More than 56,000 marriages in the U.S. Army alone have ended in divorce. Even more alarming is how quickly these rates are escalating. Historically, little has been offered to help husbands and wives reunite and reintegrate as a family after they have been apart. But America's Family Coaches are changing that and the money we help raise through this walk will go directly to helping military families.

As most of you know, I (Kristy) worked for America's Family Coaches and I have seen first-hand what an amazing difference this organization is making in the lives of military couples. Through a network of military chaplains, America's Family Coaches have already provided donor-sponsored resources to thousands of military soldiers and spouses around the globe before, during and after military deployment at no cost to them. They resource military marriages and families with mp3 players loaded with more than 20 hours of marriage material designed specifically for deployed soldiers, military conference DVDs, monthly Date with a Purpose subscriptions, and free/reduced cost marriage conferences for military couples. We want to help them reach thousands more!

That's why we'll be taking part in America’s Family Coaches 1st Annual Walk for Military Marriages at Gray’s Lake in Des Moines IA on Saturday, July 25th. By sponsoring us, you can help us strengthen these marriages and families!

We realize that budgets are extremely tight this year, but we would appreciate anything you can give!

We're asking you to support in 1 of 2 ways:

  • Sponsor us to walk on July 25th by either responding to this email!
  • Register to be a walker either at Gray’s Lake or in your own city. Visit the website to register: www.TheGreatMarriageExperience.com

Any donation will go a long way!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Blessings to you all!
Josh and Kristy Heilman
(& Zack and Austin, too!)

Monday, June 22, 2009

He's got the Eye of the Tiger...

So, as most of you know, Zack loves music... LOVES it! Most of you also know, we own the game "Rock Band" and love to play it as a family. Usually, when Zack "plays" with us, his instrument isn't exactly plugged in... ;) But recently, we let him have free reign with the mic as he's been walking around the house singing "Eye of the Tiger" constantly. So here it is... how do you think he did? ;)

Eye of the Tiger from Kristy Heilman on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

6 Months

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Our “little” man is growing so quickly!

Austin had his 6-month checkup this week (he actually turned 6 months on the 4th). He’s a growing boy, for sure!  He weighed in at 19 pounds (yes, it’s true) and he’s now 27 inches long. I was sure he would break 20 pounds, but not quite. ;)

Austin is such a happy boy. He smiles ALL the time. He adores his big brother, watching his every move. He wants to move SO badly, he can hardly stand it! He can scoot backwards and has also figured out he can keep rolling in one direction to get somewhere. He’s now trying to get his knees under himself and push off. I have a feeling crawling isn’t far off… Lord help me when both these boys are mobile!

As for his little feet, they are doing SO well! He’s still in his brace for naps and bedtime. His feet just seem to look better and better each day.

Austin is the perfect addition to our family and is such a joy. We love him so much and it is evident in his face how much he loves his family. As Zacky likes to say, “Austin LOVES me!”

Friday, June 12, 2009

What I “Knee”d…

…is a new knee ;) Actually, it’s not so bad as that.

As some of you know, I’ve recently come down with a bad case of, “oh crap, my knee hurts.” I’ve been working out a lot more, and starting a running “program” of sorts, and it seems I’ve aggravated an old injury – AND have some other issues, as well.

After going to the doctor, having an x-ray, and then getting a referral to physical therapy…I found out that there are a few issues going on that have caused the pain I’m experiencing. The good news: It’s fixable.

As far as I understand it, I’ve got a type of tendonitis involving my patella (kneecap). Also, instead of my kneecap moving up and down when my knee bends, it pulls up and out (sort of in a diagonal). SO – the treatment is to strengthen certain muscles to help pull my kneecap back into the position it should be in.

I’ve been to two physical therapy sessions so far, and it’s been good. The therapist I’m working with is great, and really knows her stuff. Plus – she doesn’t take it easy on me at all ;) I should be getting back to regular workouts and such in a month or so, if all goes well.

Really, I see this as a blessing, because I’ve had issues with my knees in the past and never got it checked out. This has forced me to find out what’s wrong and do something about it, and I think I’m going to better off for it in the end.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Best Baby Inventions

Ok, so I just had some things swishin’ around in this head of mine, so I thought I’d share… For my fellow moms (and those moms-to-be…or if you know new moms…) here are some of what I think are the best baby inventions – some must-haves for mommies!

#1 The Boppy

Seriously, for nursing moms, the Boppy Pillow is a must. Personally, I have found it to be invaluable. It’s like having an extra set of hands while nursing! Plus, it’s great to use for babies who can’t sit up just yet – you can prop them up to see the world. I got mine from my FAB friend, Sarah Carroll, before Zack was born and am using it now with Austin. It stands the test of time! (I own the “Bare Naked” Boppy and a cover for it – works great to toss in the wash!)

#2 The “Hooter Hider”

Yes, I said HOOTER Hider! Again, a very useful item for nursing moms. My mom was kind enough to buy me one to use with Austin. (I didn’t have one the first go-round) What’s so handy is it has a strap that goes around your neck (so baby can’t pull it off – which was always my issue with blankets), and at the top it is made so it stands out away from your neck so you can see down to baby’s face. It also comes in some VERY cute colors and patterns. (for the chic mamma on-the go!) A little pricey for some, but I’ve found it was well worth the investment!

#3 The Bumbo Seat

If you haven’t seen this little beauty, you’ve got to check it out! The Bumbo Baby Seat is a seat to use with little ones who can’t sit on their own yet. They’re able to sit right up and see the world! (and, if babies who couldn’t sit yet could talk,  they’d tell you this is one of their biggest issues! ;P) The picture may look like plastic, but it’s actually a foam-like material. Very sturdy, but very cushy at the same time. Again, this one’s a little pricey, if you buy it new. But if you’re patient, you can find a used one for much cheaper – and most are in VERY good condition (they’re made really well). I was able to find one for about half the price of a new one on Craigslist and you’d never be able to tell it was used!  The only complaint I’ve heard about these is stories of kids falling out of them – but that’s when the kids were put up on a countertop or something high. I never put it on anything but the floor unless Josh or I is still RIGHT next to Austin. Like anything with babies, DON’T leave them unsupervised!

#4 The Bib

True, this is not a NEW invention, but seriously – WHAT would we do without the bib? Sure, we could tie a rag around their necks, but truly – the velcro , snap, or button is so much nicer. And how many a baby outfit has been saved by the bib? Many of my boys’ outfits, that’s for sure (save, of course, for the poopsplosion – maybe we should invent something to prevent those…) And what about the bib with sleeves? Heck yes! (I don’t own one…but find it to be a brilliant idea). So I tip my hat to the inventor of the bib. (Side note: I tried to discover the name of the great bib inventor, but failed to do so… if you know it, please share!)

Ok, so I could go on for days about great baby inventions, but these are some of my current favs. As usual, I just have random things racing around my mind and this blog seems to be the place I share them. You’d think I planned it or something… ;)

(NOTE: There are links inserted for the first three items if you’d like to find out more about them)

Monday, June 1, 2009

From My Recipe Box…

By special request, I’m going to share a couple of recipes here that are GREAT for moms on the go! They’ve become family favorites and are great stand-bys. They’re relatively cheap to make, and quick, too (which is always the kicker for me!) So… bon app├ętit!

Polynesian-Glazed Meatballs

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INGREDIENTS

1 tsp. oil

1 large  red pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1/4 cup  barbecue sauce

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp.  garlic powder

2 cans (8 oz. each) pineapple chunks, drained, liquid reserved

12 oz.  (3/4 of 1-lb. pkg.) frozen cooked meatballs

2 cups instant white rice, uncooked

HOW TO MAKE IT

HEAT oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add peppers and onions; cook 5 min. or until crisp-tender, stirring frequently.

STIR in barbecue sauce, ginger, garlic powder and reserved pineapple liquid. Add meatballs; mix lightly until evenly coated. Cook 10 min. or until meatballs are heated through, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook rice as directed on package.

STIR pineapple into meatball mixture. Serve over the rice.

Taco Chili Bake

(One of Josh’s childhood favs from Mom Heilman!

Sorry, no picture! :))

INGREDIENTS

1 can (15 oz.) chili with beans

1 1/2 cup Bisquick mix

1/2 cup milk

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Paprika

Shredded lettuce

Chopped tomato

Additional shredded cheddar cheese 

HOW TO MAKE IT

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat chili. Set aside. Mix Bisquick and milk in bowl until dough forms.

Spread half the dough in an ungreased square baking dish (8x8x2). Top with chili, sprinkle with 3/4 cup cheese. Drop remaining dough by 6 spoonfuls on top. Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until dough on top is light brown.

Top with lettuce, tomato, and cheese.

First Swing Set

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Zack and Austin finally have their first swing set! It’s their summer gift from Grandpa and Mimi (my parents). Zack, of course, was ecstatic. Getting him inside that evening after it was put up was the trick. Grandpa pretty much had to drag him.

I give many kudos to Josh and my dad. They turned what was a box of little parts into a fabulous swing set that will bring HOURS of enjoyment to our boys. We had to get the baby swing, of course, for Austin and (as you can see in the picture above) he was VERY happy to have it. Zack loved having his brother swinging right next to him.

Zack also got a little T-ball set from Grandpa and Mimi while they were here visiting this past weekend, so he made out like a bandit! We have plenty of outdoor activities to keep him busy this year!