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!!!