Wednesday, May 26, 2010

9 months

Here is sleeping beauty at 9 months old.

Here we are having some fun outside in the baby pool. Harlie seems to really enjoy exploring the pool and just happens to be sitting in water while we do it.

9 months old already! Time sure does fly with these little ones so I can see how people say, enjoy it while you can. Harlie has changed dramatically in the last month. She's eating baby food now and seems to love it. She eats about 3 times a day ~ for breakfast she usually has bananas or applesauce with some rice cereal. She loves most things with cheese in them and usually eats pasta's with a veggie all mixed into a casserole. Harlie is also crawling everywhere which also means she's getting into everything. She loves chewing on cords which isn't good but she just can't resist so I have to keep an eye on that. She has two teeth on top and two on bottom. The ones on bottom are slowly coming through. She had a runny nose and some diaper rash to go with that but they are both done so hopefully we're through the hardest part with teeth. Harlie is also giving kisses, often open mouthed and with a little tongue but it's still sweet to get them. She's also sleeping pretty well although the last two nights she was kind of fussy during the night. She usually takes two naps a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. And one last thing is that she's starting to squeal a lot; and it hurts the ears. Overall, I am really loving this stage and almost like when she gets into something she shouldn't.

And here is my other little rascal. He's been enjoying the pool too.

And with it being summer and playing outside, we often crash at night time.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Today was a record for me. I ran 3 miles in under 30 minutes. That shuffle run is paying off! About two weeks ago Phil challenged me to run 3 miles in 30 minutes. My first mile was 9:55, my second 10:10, and my third well.. do the math. ??? Anyways, total time was 29:49 and that is the best I have ever ran. Phil says if I can get down to 9 minute miles then he'll go running with me, something we've never done before. Just FYI: for my first race in 2008 my goal was to run a 5k in under 33 minutes, which I did (barely). Last winter I ran the Snow Shuffle in about 36 minutes (4 months post pregnancy) so now I can say my best time is 30 minutes.

And I'm also happy to report that after being without a scale for two weeks (turns out it just needed a new battery) that I have lost another pound. Yeah! Here I was paranoid that I've gained weight because I haven't been eating the best but turns out I'm still slowly loosing. I guess if it's 1 pound every 2 weeks then that's over 24 pounds in a year so that sounds great to me!

I think I've also decided on a triathlon, it will most likely be the one at the end of September at George Wyth. Here is why:
1. Phil is doing this one (the long course but same place, same weekend).
2 I still want to loose some more weight so it's more time to really push for my goal of no longer being labeled "overweight".
3. I feel a new surge of energy with my shuffle run (and I've found a new swimming technique that has also made me a powerhouse in the water).
4. If it's at George Wyth then I'm within familiar territory (and the same place the open water practice swims are being held

Bonus: if I sign up early it's only $65 ~ so Phil and I are going to sign up and commit.. soon. : )

Friday, May 21, 2010

fun idea for kids

I know that most of us moms are creative but today I thought I'd share an idea with you.. which you may have already thought of but in case you haven't then it's worth a try.

Long story short: Making your own books on tape/CD

Long story: This past winter Wendell and I went to the library a lot and we often picked up books on tape for him to listen to out loud which was a great alternative to watching TV. But eventually we were getting books he didn't really like (or I didn't like) so I had another idea. I found an old tape cassette/walk man so I thought I'd record myself reading some of Wendell's favorite books and then he can listen to them and turn the pages to follow along. So I went and bought blank tapes but it turns out my tape player doesn't record audio (even though it has a record button); so scratch that idea and $2 down the drain (anyone need blank audio cassette tapes?). But then I realized our camera has a video option, like most digital camera's have now adays. Anyways, there is also an audio option; on mine it's the little microphone picture. So the other day during nap time, I recorded a few of his favorite stories.

Today: I actually uploaded those onto the computer and let Wendell have at it. He was able to hit replay himself and I think he sat for over an hour listening to the same story over and over.... but he loved it. Eventually I got him to listen to another one and next thing I knew it was lunch time. I think we have a little tweaking to do but for now I'm really excited to see what happens. If we're smart Harlie can use this someday too.

Next: We might purchase a CD walk man and burn the stories to CD then he can wear headphones, he's not using the computer, and he can do it in his room. We thought about buying a very very simple IPOD but I think even the simple ones are still kind of pricey. Maybe a used one will pop up for us, we'll see. But Phil even offered to read some stories so I think that will be great as well.

So, anyways, that's my story, hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

which triathlon?

So I've scanned and scanned the different triathlons in Iowa this year and since my #1 pick is not really an option anymore then I go to plan B.

Do I go the easy route? June 28th (sooner than later), a shorter swim (300 yards ) and the swim portion is in a pool versus a lake/outdoors. Note: cost $35 and is an hour and 15 minute drive away to West Union; and this race is different where you run, bike then swim.

or I do go the tougher route? September 26th (later than.. later), a longer swim (1/2 mile or 880 yards), swim in goose pooped George Wyth Lake. Cost: $75 and 15 minute drive across town; this race is normal with swim, bike then run but is also in my own playing field.

Part of me says this is a no brainer.. #1!!! but will I be disappointed in myself for the shorter swim distance? I've been swimming about 700-800 yards so I know I can do the harder race but then I have to keep training all summer.

Original goal: to complete a triathlon. But now that I've come this far, is it worth the extra 3 months of training, time, energy to say I did a harder race? One that I would be proud of? Or should I slow down a little on the crazy workout schedule, then kick it up again in September, then go for the gold at George Wyth? Or do the easy route and be done with it June 28th?

Hmm.. all these things to ponder. I have a couple of weeks before I have to decide at the June 28th one doesn't have to be registered for a few weeks.

Any thoughts?

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I thought I'd take a moment and give an update on life.

triathlon - training is going well. I just did another practice run yesterday and swam 20 laps in about 20 minutes (kind of slow but I'm not expecting great improvement), then went to bike and it took about 50 minutes to go about 14 miles (turns out my bike tires were low so hopefully I can pick up the pace on that next time), and then ran 3 miles and that was about 35 minutes (which is to be expected for now). I did find that my legs were just tired at the end of the race so I tried something different, I felt totally goofy but I think it worked. Instead of my usual full leg kick when running, I shortened it up so it was almost more like a shuffle. So although I was tired of lifting my legs I was able to run a bit faster with the shuffle run. I was a bit more winded but it was worth it just to be done with the race.

Other thoughts: I can feel my energy draining as I see all the time and energy it takes to train for this race. With Phil and I both training, I feel like we're busy all the time. I also feel like I'm in good shape and I enjoy the workouts (for the most part) but I think I will be glad when this is done. I probably won't do another triathlon for long time... maybe when the kids are out of the house. Another issue is that the race I've been planning falls on Phil's family vacation. So I've been searching for another race. At this point my best option is the one at George Wyth, at the end of September. Yeah, more time to train.. yeah, more time spent at this task. I'm at the point I kind of just want to get it done but there aren't any real options that are somewhat close and work with our schedules.

house - We have not sold our house but someone looked at it yesterday that sounded very interested. She hadn't completed the loan paperwork so we'll see. We haven't had many lookers the last week or so with the tax break being done. Hopefully it picks up once school is out.

Other thoughts: We did; however, find another house that we are excited about. It was built in 1896, yes 1896! It's in Waterloo and has 5 bedrooms. It's quite the opportunity and needs some work but the price is low so we'd have extra money to fix it up.

kids - Harlie is getting another tooth (a runny nose comes with that), she's eating pretty well now and crawls all over. Wendell is doing very good with potty training (#1 and #2).

Other thoughts: I am really hoping this will be a fun summer for us as both kids are at fun ages.

upcoming events - My sister (who lives in Ohio) is getting married in June so we'll be traveling out for that. Since we're half way there then we are venturing to Maryland to see a good friend who I went to college with.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


To send or not to send, that is my dilemma.

I haven't really looked yet so it may be to late but I have been having this ongoing debate in my head as to whether we should send Wendell to preschool. Phil is okay with whatever I decide. Wendell see's the little kids across the street and says he wants to go to school. I feel like I'm not ready to send him but I know he would really like it for awhile anyways.

Pro's - he gets to spend time with other kids, other adults/authority, have a variety in daily routine, give me a break/time alone with Harlie

Con's - starting the life of having an agenda at the age of 3, us having to drive him there at least twice a week/twice a day, $$$, we're hoping moving so who knows how long he'd attend

He already has church on Sunday, MMO, and the occasional story hour at the library that we attend. He knows the alphabet and numbers well and we're working on colors and shapes so I feel like we're covered in what he would "learn" at preschool.

Honestly, I think he would love it but I'm not excited about it. Part of it is that I feel like we're just starting to get in a good routine and able to get out and have fun now that Harlie isn't so young; and I've really enjoyed spending time with him. I would really miss the little bugger. But am I being selfish, since I know he would love it?

So, I have a question for you! Are you sending/did you send/will you send your kids to preschool at age 3? Why? Why not?

Are there any happy medium ideas out there? Like swim classes? T-ball? Art class? Music class?

I'm pretty sure I'll send him by age 4 because I think life will be a little more tame for us, I will be a little more prepared to let go, and honestly, it's free, and he would probably go to the elementary school that he would go to school at when he goes to kindergarten.

So what are you thoughts? And guidance for me (us)?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

new menu

I've got a new menu for you!
Calzone, yum, yum!

Saturday - brunch and veggie pizza (which was really good!)
Sunday - gone for Mother's Day, no cooking for me!
Monday - salmon burgers (frozen pack of 4 from Aldi)
Tuesday - meatless spaghetti
Wednesday - talapia (grilled)
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - brats (grilled and hopefully from the infamous meat locker in La Porte City)
Saturday - brunch and chicken (grilled) w/homemade mac-n-cheese
Sunday - leftovers and ribs (grilled)
Monday - leftovers
Tuesday - hot dogs
Wednesday - catfish (fried?)
Thursday - veggie calzone
Friday - leftovers

* most meals will have a veggie on the side such as green beans, corn, peas, or carrots
** on the lunch menu I have some bologna for sandwiches and I also bought supplies to make some bean and cheese burritos

I also have a recipe for you... I will give the 'Heather' version today. let me know if you want the real recipe.

Homemade Pizza Sauce

8 oz. can of tomato sauce (.25 cents at Aldi)
1 tsp. italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 can of water (from the can of sauce)
mix together and cook in small sauce pan for 20-30 minutes; let cool a few minutes before putting on your pizza

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

more recipes, updates, and life in general

First is a recipe for you,

Homemade Rice-a-roni

1/2 cup raw spaghetti, broken into 1 inch pieces
3/4 cup rice
14 ounces (or 3 - 4 cups) of chicken broth (or water)
2 TBSP butter or margarine
parsley (about 1 tsp)
seasoning salt

Heather's way (I use brown rice and whole wheat spaghetti AND I don't want to use two pans so I have to reverse it all a bit)

1. Cook rice in 2 cups of chicken broth (brown rice takes about 45 minutes, instant white rice is much faster)
2. Then add the spaghetti with butter and an extra cup or so of broth; cook until the noodles are cooked, about 10 minutes
3. Add your seasonings and let simmer for a few minutes.


original recipe directions

1. Brown spaghetti in the butter, stirring constantly, and until the spaghetti begins to brown
2. Add instant rice, stirring until the rice is well coated with butter
3. Pour in broth and spices
4. Simmer until liquid is absorbed

* see picture below : )
** I just made this tonight and found that I like it best with only the parsley as a seasoning. All my seasoning salts made it taste too salty.

NEWS FLASH!! Harlie is eating food now. She loves animal crackers, and has eaten sweet potato, mac-n-cheese, and a few peas and carrots!

And a little bit of life... we a really fun Saturday as a family just hanging out. This is one of Wendell's new things. He loves to climb on top of my car and just look around.

Here's Harlie just hanging out. She loves to stick out her tongue.

This is a picture of our supper tonight. Yep, I forgot to take a before picture so for humor I thought I'd take an after picture, indicating it was tasty since it's all gone. (I like to amuse myself : ).

We had
  • rice-a-roni (see above recipe)
  • talapia from our good friend Becky who gave us a bunch after my last food post because I was raving about our yummy talapia that I had cooked with cooking spray in a fry pan; she thought hers was a bit fishy tasty (and it was a little fishier than last time) so she gave it us, but it's free fish so we'll eat it!
  • california blend veggie mix
  • I also made (my first "homemade" sweet treat in a couple months) some brownie's from a brownie mix that my friend Kathryn gave me (due to some allergy issues). So people have been giving me free food left and right!

And this last picture if Harlie and me sleeping. She had woken up at 6am one morning and I was still tired so I fed her and then we laid back down; apparently she agreed since we both fell back asleep.

Well, believe it or not, it's been almost 2 weeks since I did my last menu. Friday is grocery night so I'll be making a new menu up in the next few days. I've had a hankerin' for a good old grilled hamburger so that may have to be on the menu. And I tried a new homemade mac-n-cheese recipe (made with cottage cheese) so that may have to be put on the menu as well.
I'll keep you posted! (** sorry if there are typo's but I gotta go to work)