Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Valentine's Day

It was a mellow, low-key Valentine's Day at the Moen house this year.  I awoke to a very special handmade card from my three wonderful valentine's before Dr. M headed out to work.  The babies and I stayed home and made a new, fun dessert for Dad.   We made rice crispy treats, but added a packet of black cherry kool-aid to the melted marshmallows and then drizzled dark chocolate on top of them in the pan (a Pinterest idea!).  It was an interesting combination of sweet and tart and who doesn't love cherry and chocolate!?  That evening Dr. M came home early and made us an incredible "restaurant quality" dinner (homemade marinara, portobello mushrooms and cinnamon sweet potatoes and pear).  After the babies went to bed we relaxed with a glass of wine and snuggled on the couch watching our favorite TV show.  Simplicity.  Pure joy and true love.  Perfect.


8 Months!

Our sweet, happy, beautiful baby girl is 8 months old and she's been very busy recently.  Exploring her new world by army CRAWLING everywhere!  She pulls herself along the floor by her forearms, wiggling her knees and pushing with her tip-toes.  It may not sound efficient, but I'll tell ya, this little thing gets around!  She's into everything!  Between army crawling and rolling she can reach just about anything she puts her mind to (which is fun for her, but tough for mom).  She wiggles her way into the kitchen while I'm cooking or even down the hall to inspect the edge of the rug.  She's loving her new found freedom so much so that she's not been  napping very well.  She's too busy to sleep.  She'd rather scoot around playing with the little toys in her crib and talk to her mobile instead of sleeping (even at night!).  A couple days after she turned 8 months her very first TOOTH popped through her gums (bottom right), which hasn't been helping with her sleeping either.  Though she doesn't seem to be in pain, she just acts unsettled and restless.  I don't blame her, so much has happened in her little world in just a matter of a few weeks.  She's still chatty and has learned how to blow raspberries (with her tongue), so cute, but messy.  She's also learned to clap her hands (or two toys) together, which she thinks is really exciting.  Still tiny, she was just 15 lbs at the doctors earlier last week for her follow-up flu shot.  Her hair is getting longer and falls into a cute little point on her forehead.  It's still blonde with a hint of red and her eyes are still an amazing blue.  She's such an incredible little girl!  She makes us smile and laugh and love her more and more every day!  We tell her everyday that she's earned the "best baby in the world" award - which is true, she's truly amazing!

She still loves those fingers.

She's very busy and into everything!

Cardboard boxes are always the best toys.  E insists that H sit in it with him, while he teaches her the letters.  She just squeals and laughs at him, clapping her hands.  Such sweet moments!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Haircut (by mom!)

Well, I did it again.  I cut E's hair and it looks really cute!  It was SO long.  Dr. M and I were loving his little curls when the weather was humid or after a bath and just couldn't bare to cut them.  So, we let it get a little out of hand. I realize this...in hindsight.  The fact that a woman at the park asked me if he was a boy or a girl should have been a hint.  So, early Sunday morning we bribed him with TV and candy canes and got the job done as fast as possible (it was quite the task).  The good news is it turned out really cute and he looks like such a handsome little BOY!




The post-holiday season is always rough.  An emotional roller-coaster, missing family, sugar withdrawal and boredom, with a sense of motivation for the new year.  The second week of January Dr. M was gone for a conference so the babies and I spent 6 long days and nights together.  We made it through the week, but by the time he got home my rope was starting to fray.  It was like the culmination of what we've been through the past 6 months and the reality of our situation all hit me at once and manifested itself in anxiety (for days!).  I'm not sure what triggered it, him being gone, the nearby threat of deadly tornados or simply missing family over the holidays.  Whatever it was, it hit hard.  I was in a really low place.  Recognizing my desperation, my mom drove out to spend a few days with us.  I SO needed her visit.  She helped me work through my head, talk things out and motivated me to reach out to new friends and ask for help.  I'm doing better now, emotionally, but still not feeling completely positive about our move down here and raising a family in a city I'm not crazy about.  I can't put my finger on it exactly, but for some reason I'm just not sold on Tuscaloosa.  Despite my recent attempts to make new friends, join new social groups and explore the city, I'm still not impressed.  I've convinced myself to give it a good, wholehearted effort and really try to make the best of our situation (finding the motivation some days is the hard part).  So far, so good, but we'll see.  Here's what we've been up to lately.....

Still LOVING the iPad!

Grandma W's visit

Spending time with Dad - pushing them around the kitchen like this!  They loved it, of course! (please excuse our hideous kitchen flooring).

Spending time a the park, enjoying the unseasonably warm and beautiful weather!

Even the plants can't believe it's January!

The UA Arboretum has become a very special place for us.  It's a beautiful park that's minutes from our house, nestled just off the beaten path of the city.  It's a place where our whole family (dogs too) can spend time together and enjoy the beautiful southern weather.  Our almost weekly trip has become something we all look forward to.  This is a place that's truly unique here in T-town.  I'm looking forward to it's smells and colors this spring when it's in full bloom!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cardio Update

Harper saw the pediatric cardiologist (at UAB Children's Hospital) again last week for a routine follow-up. Overall, the appointment went well.  He said that her stenosis is stable, meaning that there's little to no change from our last visit.  That's good in the grand scheme of things because at this point he doesn't think she'll need surgical intervention.  We will, however, continue seeing him for routine check-ups (ekg and echo) every 2-3 months for the first year of her life.  After that point, it will depend on what the prognosis is for how often we go back in the future.  Generally, he thinks it will be just once a year until she gets older.  Overall, he thinks that this is relatively mild and that many kids with this level of PVS have very normal, active lives.  Woo hoo!

Getting the ekg.  She was such a trooper!  Poor little thing.