Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Harper is 6 months!

Happy half birthday, baby girl!  Can't believe she's 6 months old already.  I know I say that every month, but for some reason 6 months seems more shocking.  It feels more like a milestone that we've ALL reached.  I never thought I would say this, but she's truly a dream baby!  She's perfect and soooo mellow.  If every baby were like this one, we would have 10.  In the beginning she was difficult, but now that we've figured her out (and she us) she's a different baby.  She goes to bed around 7 and sleeps until 7, but I feed her before I go to bed, around 10:30 and again around 4am (I'm not complaining!) and she takes two naps, which I've strategically correlated with E's afternoon nap.  We've been trying "solid" foods (homemade, pureed foods) and so far she's had rice cereal, avocado and sweet potatoes (her fave so far).  She's been sitting independently now for several weeks and is rolling over from front to back and back to front effortlessly now.  Her hair is still very blonde, but is still downy and light and her eyes are still a radiant blue.  She's been "speaking" in more consonants now, like "M" and "B" and loves to babble and stick out her tongue (adorable).  She thinks her brother is the funniest thing in the house (the dogs are a close second) and loves watching all of them.  Unfortunately, she's caught several of her brother's colds and seems to have a runny nose and some chest congestion constantly, but is always in good spirits.  She's still taking her reflux medication, but we hope to wean her off of it soon.  I'm still avoiding dairy, nuts, chocolate, eggs and some soy in hopes to help her reflux.  She's also showed symptoms of food allergies to these foods (via green, dirty diapers) so we hope to have her tested for allergies in the near future, which I have a feeling may be the answer to her reflux and weigh-gain issues.  I feel like, however, she's put on some weight recently, but haven't been to the doc for her 6 month appointment yet (long story), but I'll add the stats when we get them.  Overall, she's a happy, healthy baby girl!  Her FIRST Christmas is in just 4 days!!!!


Such a good little sitter (and cute too)!!

Sweet Potato!


6 Month Stats:
Weight - 14 lbs 1 oz (5%)
Height - 26 1/2 in (65%)
Head Circ. - 16 1/4 in

We had an appointment with H's doc yesterday (it was delayed because we had to reschedule due to E's Christmas program at school).  Overall, she seems to be doing well.  Developing, physically and mentally right on schedule.  The doc was a little worried about her weight, which continues to drop, so we plan to go back in a month to have her re-checked (and to get her flu shot booster).  At this point, she wasn't concerned about the possibility of food allergies and wants to wait to have her tested.  She did, however, say that little H's eyes were a little out of line, which she said could mean that there's a vision difference in them and suggested we see an eye doctor (sheesh!  What's next for this little girl!?).  We also go back to the cardiologist a the end of this month for a follow-up echo.  She got 4 immunizations (3 shots and one oral), plus her first flu shot yesterday.  Poor little thing.  She's had an ongoing slew of doctor visits and shots since the day she was born.  To me she seems healthy and very happy!  She's our little "Happy Harper."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The E-man Lately...

E is 27 months now, but who's counting?  I've been told that you don't count in months after they turn two, but I really miss doing my monthly updates on the little guy.  Having a baby around the house who seems to change daily, I sometimes forget that E is still growing and changing too.  It's amazing to see how much he's changed since he started school in October.  He's learned so much from the kids at school (both good and bad) and has been working hard with Dr. M to learn many new (and impressive) subjects on the iPad.  Lately....
- He refers to himself in the first person (this is a big step, socially).
- He's, however, learned the stereotypical poor manners of possessive preschooler like "No! That's mine!", "Let go!", "Gimme that", "I want it now!" and the lovely "NOOO!".  Fun times.  
- He loves to paint with water colors and is surprisingly good.  Really.  He is also drawing in circles and "shapes" rather than just scribbles (I don't know if this matters, developmentally, but makes his art more interesting). 
- He now knows all of the planets (in proper order, of course), his 3D shapes (cone, cylinder, prism, etc.) and almost all of the 50 states!  He's crazy good at memorization and is very visual.  This kid is going to be sooo bored in kindergarten.  
- He can sing the whole alphabet by himself and also the Caillou theme song.
- He still loves letters and numbers of all shapes and sizes and impresses us when he finds them in a creative way in unassuming the lines in the middle of the road he said were "11" and the parking lines at the store were "H" and also a "4".
- He loooves the Christmas tree but affectionately calls it the "krispy treat".
- He recently went through a faze of being scared of the bath and refusing to take one, but quickly moved on (thank goodness) after a week when we lured him with lots of bubbles and crayons to play with while in there. 
-He's had a regression of his food allergies.  Which means he's still allergic to dairy, peanuts and tree nuts and we recently discovered that he's allergic to lentils (they're in the peanut family, who knew?).
I feel like he's gotten taller in the past couple months.  His hair is long again, but I kinda like it, so we'll wait a little longer on another haircut.  I also think he's slooowly getting his 2-year molars.  So far it's been a long, slow, painful process.  He'll be great one moment and then crabby and have a low fever the next.  Poor guy.  One thing is for sure, though, he's a GREAT big brother!  He loves "Baby Harper" and is so gentle with her.  He even says "hi pretty girl" when he sees her.

This isn't the best shot, but it's hard to get this guy to slow down for a photo these days.  He's a busy guy!

His first (of many I assume) peanut butter and birdseed bird feeder.

ETA:  It's official, E now knows ALL 50 US states!  Seriously!  He and Dr. M have been working on the iPad recently, which E loves and in just a few days, he knew all of the states!  He's amazed even his preschool teachers.  What's next?  Not sure....presidents, countries, flags.....ideas, suggestions???

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Southern-Style Thanksgiving!

Well, we are living in the south now, so what better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than with southern food?!  Not only was this my first time preparing a whole Thanksgiving dinner, it was my first time preparing many of the southern dishes.  With the help of Grandma D, however, everything turned out amazing!  I made homemade sweet potato, buttermilk and chocolate pies as well as gouda cheese grits, cornbread stuffing, braised turnips (from the farmer's market), spiced cranberries, homemade green bean casserole and turkey, of course.  YUM!  It was Harper's first Thanksgiving.  Grandma and Grandpa D were here to celebrate with us and spend time with the babies.  The weather was amazing as we all wore shorts and flip flops, played basket ball out back, walked at the park and relaxed in the sun.  It was a great 4 day weekend!  I'm so thankful for my amazing children and family.  We are truly blessed!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cardiology Update

On Friday we took Harper in for a follow-up cardiology appointment.  We met with a doctor in Birmingham (about 45 mins away) at the UAB Children's hospital, Women's a Children's center at the Pediatric Cardiology Specialists.  She had an EKG and ECHO done by the doctor to listen to her heart murmur and check the status of her pulmonary valve stenosis and two holes (ASD and VSD).  The good news is that the two holes have closed and no longer of concern, but the stenosis which was originally classified as mild, but has now changed to moderate.  The doctor said this is common and not really a cause for concern.  He suggested, however, that we come back in two months for a follow-up appointment.  He said that this is not a life-threatening condition or something that will get bad quickly, but needs to be closely monitored for her first year of life.  He said worst case is that she would have to have a simple surgical balloon procedure that would help open up the valve.  We're keeping our fingers crossed that it doesn't get worse and heals on it's own.  From the outside she looks and acts like a normal, happy, healthy, beautiful baby girl!

Patiently waiting at the doctors office, chewing on moms scarf.

5 months!

Our beautiful baby girl is 5 months old and completely amazing!  Though it's been a busy month, I feel like she's grown and changed so much.  Everyday, it seems she looks bigger, has more hair and is doing things she wasn't just the day before.  She can now roll over, both directions, front to back or back to front.  She still prefers sleeping on her tummy and sucking her middle two fingers.  Her reflux doesn't seem to bother her as much which we still give her Zantac for twice a day.  Her eyes are still an amazing light blue and her hair is blonde (maybe a little strawberry too).  She loves to babble, squeal and grab her toes and toys which go straight into her mouth.  She's able to sit with support, but feel like she'll be doing it on her own soon.  She's still taking two naps a day and sleeping great at night.  Though she started rice cereal last week she's still nursing on demand.  I forgot how wonderful it is having a baby in the house and this baby is a great one!  She's pretty easy going and content just sitting on my lap or in napping in the sling.  She's still measuring small at just under 13 pounds and 24.5 inches, but I'm working on nursing her more often and think the rice cereal will help.  Overall, she's happy, healthy and developing, which is what counts!!
Look at those BIG blue eyes!!

Her brother is one of her favorite things (the dogs too).   She loves watching him run around and talk to her.  He's so sweet and gentle with her and so good at sharing his toys.  I think these two are going to be good friends :)    Oh how they warm my heart!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rice Cereal!

On Monday, November 7th, Harper tried her very first solid food.  Rice cereal mixed with a little bit of breast milk.  I actually think she liked it!  She may have had more fun just chewing on the spoon, but she didn't seem to mind the cereal.  She made a few classic, cute "yucky" faces as we spooned it into her mouth, but didn't fuss and actually appeared to swallow a good part of the cereal.  The pics are the best part.  Her little face is classic (and oh, so cute!).

In the Bumbo and ready to go!!

Super excited about this cereal stuff.  Our happy girl :)

 Here we go....

 Not too bad.

I just like chewing on the spoon. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bama vs. LSU

We decided to brave the crowds this weekend and venture down to campus among the thousands of tailgaters to get a glimpse of the football madness.  This was slated to be the "biggest college football game of the year."  ESPN Game Day even set-up in front of the University of Alabama's Bryant Denny stadium where thousands of students/fans cheered all day.  Needless to say, Tuscaloosa was a madhouse!  A couple of our good friends were in town for the weekend, so we decided to show off the true football religion.  We loaded up the stroller and some beer and trekked downtown to campus for the morning (until nap time, we were home by 2:30!).  We didn't even have tickets to the game, but got a babysitter (woohoo! our very first sitter) for the game.  So, we put the kids to bed and went out to dinner - Dreamland BBQ baby - to watch the game.  We were home by 10:30, just in time to catch the end of the 4th quarter and overtime.  Unfortunately, the game didn't end in our favor and our hopes for a national championship diminished, but overall it was a wonderful day.  Awesome friends,  great food and good times had by all!

An ocean of tailgating tents among the Crimson Tide!

ESPN Radio tent.  The Game Day tent was closed when we got there, but this was pretty cool.

 E was having too much fun and finally crashed in the stroller, mid-drink and snack time (there's a cracker in his hand).

Miss H was loving her "big girl" seat in the stroller, but I stopped to feed her and she opted for a nap in the sling on the way back to the car (I don't blame her).

 The boys.  Just taking in the madness, enjoying the beautiful weather and chatting about football (or beer?).

 All of us (E was still sleeping)!

ETA:  We're also SUPER excited about the recent news of Mizzou joining the SEC!  Woo hoo!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Proud Mama!

Yesterday when I picked E up from school his teacher said she couldn't believe "how smart he is."  Of course I already knew this, but it felt good coming from his teacher.  She said he found something on the floor in the classroom and brought it to her and said "octagon."  She was very impressed, but wanted to see if he really knew his shapes and asked if he knew another one..."trapezoid" one of his favorites.  She was so impressed that she took him around to all the other classrooms showing him off to the other teachers!  I was beaming, but of course, but didn't tell her that that's just the tip of iceberg...  ;)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


The Moen famiy had a wonderful and very busy Halloween!  It was also a holiday with lots of "firsts" for us.  Sunday night we carved our first pumpkin as a family (E helped) and roasted the seeds.  This was baby Harper's very first Halloween (she's 4.5 months now) and she wore a super cute pumpkin onesie with adorable halloween leggings.  It was also E's first time trick-or-treating!  The weather here was SO nice Monday, I think the high was 70 degrees and sunny - perfect, yet nice a brisk in the evening.  Baby Harper and I showed up early to E's school for a hayride and classroom party.  All the kids wore their costumes to school (E was "Big Al" the universities' mascot).  His school even had bounce houses set up in the parking lot, which was a big hit!  The classroom party was fun (and messy).  E ate his very first peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which he loved of course.  During nap time I washed E's costume (and Harper's) which was covered in chocolate frosting and who knows what else from the party.  That evening we went to a friends house (who's daughter is in E's class) for chili, bobbing for apples, pumpkin painting, more bounce-house fun and trick-or-treating.  There we about 6 kids total that went trick-or-treating with us, some older and some younger and the adults followed the kids with a stroller and even a minivan for a warm place to sit down.  E loved the first few houses, but quickly got bored with it.  The fact that he was having too much fun to eat dinner didn't help.  So, he decided to ride in the stroller and dig into his candy instead.  We were home and in bed before 8:30, the usual, and everyone (parents too) were exhausted.  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and time of year.  I hope it will be for the kids too.  Can't wait for next year when Harper can trick-or-treat too!     

Happy Halloween!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Love/Don't Love

Today, I don't love...

- My post-baby body
- My hair that I haven't cut since before H was conceived (yes, I'm serious)
- That H's pediatrician hasn't called me back yet
- The anxiety I feel about her last appointment
- My feeling of anxiety, in general
- That groceries are so expensive
- The cockroach I found running around in the dog food bin this morning (yuck!)
- That I forgot to make coffee this morning
- That I accidently erased ALL of our recordings on our DVR last night
- That it was easier for me to think of the things I "don't love" about today rather than the things that I "do love"

Today, I love...

- That E didn't even shed a tear when I dropped him off at school
- That Dancing With the Stars is on tonight
- The beautiful, brisk fall weather this morning and being able to wear a light jacket
- That I'm excited about the new soup I'm going to make for dinner tonight
- All the stares and comments I get when I wear H in my sling
- How E runs up to me and hugs my knees when I pick him up from school
- That H finally had a dirty diaper after 2 days without (only a mom will understand this one)
- That Dr. M said I looked "cute" this morning
- The motivation I feel to eat better and run again
- The time I have to myself, while both babies take a long afternoon nap
- Hearing H giggle at me
- Breastfeeding
- My babies more than I will ever be able to express

I love how actually typing this out gives me such perspective on my day.  I ran across this idea on a blog that I really enjoy reading and it inspired me to give it a try.  I'm glad I did.  I suggest trying it and see what you come up with....

Fall weather!

Fall is my most FAVORITE time of year!  I love the cool weather, the beautiful trees, pumpkins and the smell of cinnamon.  October, November and December are my favorite 3 months.  This time of year makes me want to bake cookies and have soup on the stove all day.  It also makes me want to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather, take walks, go to fall festivals, eat apples, and  go outside to the park with the kids.  Though it's hotter here this time of year than it is back home, we're still doing all of the aforementioned things.  And I'm love, love, loving it!

Me and my babies at the park near our house!

How cute is this?!  It was such a beautiful day at the park.  The weather was perfect!

E loves collecting the fallen pecans and throwing them in the fountain.

Sunday, all 4 of us went to the Kentuck Art festival.  It was a beautiful morning together!  Did you notice that Miss Harper sitting the big girl seat in the stroller?  She loved being able to look around. 

E got his face painted for the first time.  He did great until the girl showed it to him in the mirror and he quickly wiped it off!  This is what remained of his red Alabama "A"... 

Harper's favorite place to be, the sling.  I get so many comments when I wear her like this.  It's like people here have never seen a sling before.  I love using it when we're out and about so she can nap (esp at the grocery store) and both of my hands are free.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Four Months!

Little Miss Harper is 4 months old.  That means it's been almost three months since we moved down here, which I can't believe.  She's changed sooo much in just the last month.  She's holding her head up well and loves to sit on my lap and watch her brother and the dogs.  She smiles at everyone (even the mean nurse that gave her shots today).  She squeals in excitement and loves to babble at her toys and grabs her toes.  She's actually growing some hair (still light and blonde).  Her eyes are still a beautiful, bright blue.  The biggest change, I think, is that she can roll from her back to her tummy and chooses to sleep that way!  Speaking of which, she sleeps great!  Seriously, this girl loves her beauty rest.  She sleeps about 10-12 hours at night and takes two long naps.  I've been working on this.  I scheduled her second nap to be when E sleeps, so I can get some alone time (woo hoo!).  She has also become quite fond her of her fingers.  In fact she sucks on them (mainly the middle two) all the time.  This is bittersweet for me.  It's nice because she can soothe herself back to sleep and in the car when I can't reach a pacifier...but I'm worried about not being able to take a finger away when she's older like we can a pacifier.  Oh well, we sucked our thumbs and turned out just fine.  She's been on her reflux meds for about two months now and is doing great.  I still hear the reflux, but it doesn't seem to bother her.  She's  nursing great and we're still using cloth diapers!  Overall, she's a sweet, happy baby.  She's growing and developing perfectly (though the doc seemed to think she's not gaining enough weight...but I'm not going to worry about that right now because she seems perfect to me)!!

4 Month stats:
Weight - 11 lbs 14 oz (15%)
Length - 24 1/4 in (40%)

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Last weekend was the University's homecoming.  Like everything down here that has to do with football, it was a pretty big deal.  Though the evening started with a couple cranky kids, we decided to brave the crowds on the quad to attend the festivities.

First was the pep-rally on the steps of the main administrative building in the quad.  The band, cheerleaders and dancers performed for hundreds of people standing around watching while university administration and football staff revved up the crowd.  

As you can imagine the pep-rally wasn't very exciting for a two-year-old, so we squeezed through the crowds to the big open field where he could run around with others his age while waiting for the bonfire.    Needless to say, the bonfire was the main attraction!  Our whole family enjoyed it.  It was HUGE.  The fire department lit it with giant blow torches.  The crowd had to stand back at least 50 feet, but you still feel the immense heat radiating from it on the cool evening.

The fraternities and sororities pair together and create these floats for the saturday afternoon parade but they display them in front of the sorority houses (on "sorority row") the night of the bonfire.  They were pretty impressive. 

 Some were made out of the traditional tissue paper pom-poms, but many were made with these little balls of tissue paper (I had never seen these before). The detail was amazing!

 We didn't make it to the parade or game on Saturday because we were busy picking up Grandma W from the airport and spending time with her instead.  Totally worth it!!!  We had an amazing time with her.  Plus, we've got many years to come for UA homecoming.