Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Its been a long

It has been a long time...almost a month to be exact...since the last blog post. I would like to first off dedicate this particular blog post to Merrit M. She reminds me when my blog has lacked post
and reminded me of this today. I told you I would post just for you! Hehe. So her ya go.

I guess I could use this time to post a semi-newsletter of sorts. I originally thought I might put one in my Christmas cards but then Oh Yea...I remembered I had three kids that needed every moment of my attention and just couldn't get it written, printed, and folded in to those envelopes. Sorry kiddos...maybe if I start now there will be one next year. Here's hoping.

Lets see now....where do we begin. Well Thanksgiving came and went. The air turned a little colder which meant I had to FINALLY put socks and shoes on the twins. Yes I know. I have been avoiding this for a while. They hate them #1 & #2 have YOU ever bought socks and shoes for 3 kids. 2 of which hate wearing them, don't go anywhere, and at the time couldn't even walk. Needless to say there are some advantages I imagine to livi ng in places where shoes don't even exist. Oh well it had to happen sometime. So got the socks and shoes and just in time. Palmer was walking a while back but now she runs at lightning speed and Blake finally came around. It is so precious to see her walking around. She stands so straight and pokes her belly out and toddles slowly through the house with a smile on her face. As if to say, "Oh yea, Oh yea, Oh yea". I am loving it. Well I am loving the fact that she has once again proven she is a miracle. Not so much loving that all things within tip toe reach are up for fair game, especially when her mischievous younger sibling provokes her to get it, touch it, throw it, etc. Oh well with the good always comes the bad.

The twinks just had their 15 month well baby visit this past week even though we were a little late since they are now 16 months. Whoops.
Blake: 30 inches tall & 19 pounds 10 ounces
Palmer: 31 inches tall & 19 pounds 4 ounces
Blake finally passed her sister in weight. Not sure how long it will last. Especially when I go through 2 dozen free range brown eggs A WEEK! Yes that is mainly just for the twins. Those girls eat like linebackers.

Blake will have her next AFP in Jan. I am sure her levels are low just like they should be. Even if they are in the single digits (which is good) we will still have them checked every 3 months until her 2nd birthday.

The girls are all really hilarious these days. Playing together (and fighting) more and more each day. Even AK wants her sisters to play. I just know they will all be big buddies soon. I am trying to teach the twins more words. They seem to be stuck on "uh oh", "bye bye", and "dadda". Which I think will eventually be the words he hears the most when they are teenagers. Uh oh dadda, bye bye. Mark my words!

Can't wait to post Christmas pictures. I'm sure they will be fun.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


its been a long time

I have gotten a few complaints about the lack of my blogging lately. My apologies peeps. I believe the last time I filled everyone in we had received Blake's last AFP. Which we won't get checked again until late December. Praying for a single digit number!
The girls are growing like weeds. I am not exactly sure how much they are weighing in at now, but I would approximate between 18-19 pounds. My little teenies. Palmer started walking about a month ago and she is QUICKLY picking up speed. Blake walks ONLY when she wants too. No one tells her when and where that is for sure. It is such a blessing because although she moves at her own pace we now know she is perfectly capable of getting around. She continues to amaze me.
Our sweet pea Palmer has well changed a bit. Her calm and quiet nature is now more like wild and loud. She can clear a room of all its contents in a matter of seconds! We now refer to her as the "Live Wire". Blake on the other hand is self entertained and calm. She minds well and doesn't bother much. Both are slowly but surely using some words and sounds. We will get there I'm sure.
Halloween was fun. The twinks went as monkeys (totally appropriate) and AK was a Jaguar. All of my jungle animals were precious as pie.
Otherwise our life has been pretty much uneventful-PRAISE THE LORD! Looking forward to Christmas with 6 little hands wrapping paper ready.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Update of Blake

After our visit to Ohio in August our surgeon let us know we would continue our quarterly AFP blood work on Blake for another year. We were to have it done at Children's Birmingham (as usual) soon after the beginning of September. Not surprising our schedules just didn't permit. I either had all three kids. Which taking all three of them to Children's by myself isn't a option. Especially when AK says she wants to see the sick kids. Who knows where she would wonder off to while I am in the lab holding down the strongest 1 year old in the nation. I would find her in some kids room trying to play doctor. Finally, last week Olivia came in to town and I had a helper to tame the masses. BTW she was a wonderful assistant!
A day or so ago the nurse from Dr. Harmon's office called to give us our results. I had no reason to expect anything less than dropping numbers. Her last AFP in June was in the mid 70's (which is expected). Again we are still aiming towards 0-9 and for it to remain there forever. Typically it drops 20 or so points every 3 months. It had dropped to 28! Yippee! This was wonderful news. A dramatic drop in her level and a blessing. I couldn't believe it. I guess waiting those extra two weeks really paid off for her.
In other toddler news. Both girls have taken steps all on their own. Blake still is working on her balance and butt muscle strength, but has enough desire to go go go that she just might walk in a month or so. She has no issue with climbing that's for sure. I constantly have to keep a eye on her because one minute she is on the floor and the next she is on top of a chair. Quick little thing!
Palmers personality reigns true with her walking skills. She can do it but hey why walk when I can crawl or someone can carry me is her philosophy. She has the strength and the balance but just doesn't care. Just her way of life...easy come...easy go.
Both girls are chattering more and more each day. It will be no time before I will be out numbered on the who can yell loudest category.
The other day I was making a video of Miss P dancing away. She literally dances to anything with a beat and every moment is a good moment to dance in her opinion. She noticed Blake playing with a remote and bee lined it over....the rest is you tube magic. Enjoy!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Adios Amigos

There are few people in this world who completely understand me, put up with me, and most important love me for who I am. Obviously my family creates the bulk of this group, but there are a few others out there in the world who "get" the true Kristen Bass Moran. Oh, how I love them for loving me. Two of these people I have had to say goodbye to all in one week. How bad does this stink? Well one time in high school someone put a can of slightly opened tuna under someone else back seat of their car. You can imagine how that smelled after about a week? That is how bad saying goodbye to multiple good friends all at once stinks~ like rotting tuna!

The first friend is a old high school friend of mine. Olivia was a exchange student in my high school my junior year. After a "fortunate for me" turn of events she ended up moving in with my family and spent her remaining 6 months in my house. It was wonderful! She then returned to Germany. In 1999 a friendship began and has continued to grow stronger over the years. 12 years later it is still going strong. We get to see each other on average every 3 years and through the wonderful world of FB, text, and skype speak frequently. Recently her husband was transferred to Boston to work for 2 years. Her dream has always been to live in the U.S. and mine too. She moved to Boston in June. It has been so nice to be able to pick up my cell phone and dial "Olivia" and there she was! Because of a turn of events she is moving back to Germany on THURSDAY!!! So sad :( Thankfully she chose to take one of her last weeks in the states to come and visit with me and my sister and our bunch of kids. I had her for 5 days and it was wonderful! She and I gabbed about old times, new times, changed diapers together, laughed together, and ATE A LOT! She left on friday and I will not see her for another year. I hate saying goodbye or even see you later. I will miss her!
You think that saying bye bye to a dear friend would be enough for one week, but oh no, I always feel the need to out do everyone. So I thought, "hey why don't we just say goodbye to someone else." I mean why not, right.
In 2003 Jeff introduced me to his good friend Grant Gilmer. Shortly after that Grant met a wonderful lady named Lynlee. Their relationship bloomed and were married in 2005. Shortly after our move to Birmingham in 2006 we began hanging out with the Gilmers frequently. A relationship began to bloom between Lynlee & I. Pretty much we are the only two people that can stand each other. We are two of a kind (good and bad) and with just a sigh can tell how each others day is going. Food and wine are our cures for everything! It is a beautiful thing that we have going. A couple of months ago her husband had the opportunity to transfer to a town about 1 1/2 hours away from here. And here we are in October and its time for the big move. The movers will pack up their home on Monday and I will say goodbye. Yes, we will still see each other and talk EVERY DAY but its not the same. (Stomping my feet) I don't like it one bit. Too much change....makes....me....panic....
I am aware that one day the Gilmer family will return to Birmingham but one day isn't today and that is pretty much the only way I will be satisfied with this situation. Can anyone tell I am not big on change? Guess I better gas up the "submarine" and start making my plans for my first slumber party in Gadsden, Alabama soon because it is gonna happen. I will miss you my dear friend. Hurry back soon!
In conclusion I do not recommend saying goodbye to more than one friend in a week. Doing otherwise can cause moments of anger, tears, and binge chocolate eating.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


In 1996 I was just entering the 9th grade. My freshman year. High School! I couldn't believe it. I had finally made it to the holy land of WHS! JV cheerleading, high school football games, and THE BOYS...oh the boys. What I wouldn't give to have 29 year old me to to hop in and out of my pocket at important moments to give me a little life lesson and look in to the future. I'm pretty sure she would have smacked me across the face those nights I spent with my face buried in my pillow crying or at least I hope she would. I think she also probably would have said take yourself to church, find a good quiet spot and pray you make it through alive. I didn't have 29 year old polly pocket version of myself and heaven knows how that would have worked out, but I made it and only by God's grace.

I have always gravitated toward youth. I decided that I was going to try and serve with the youth this year in some way shape or form. A opportunity came about for me to be a "small group" discipleship leader for 9-12 grade girls. A friend of mine have a group of 10 9th graders. A hot mess! A good hot mess though. They are sweet, fun, and best friends. I look forward to getting to know them and bring Christ to the forefront of their minds.

We chose tonight to do a study called "Idol Girls". It is about all of the "idols" young girls put before him. Boys, cell phones, FB, school work, extra curricular activities, you name it! They seemed excited and anxious to get going. Last spring I did a study with fellow ladies about idols and it isn't one of those studies that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. At times it made me pretty angry that "Grey's Anatomy" was considered a idol to me. I mean hello, its Grey's! But I would put tv, fb, email, sewing, aerobics, before Christ and well that was a idol and just not how I was to live my life.

My hope is that these young women realize how unimportant everything is unless God is numero uno! Once they learn that life will be much more tolerable! I will keep you all updated.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


If you have ever had a child screaming from pain you will understand this post.
Blake has had a tummy issues for the past several days, well since Thursday of this past week. She made a visit to Childrens Birmingham emergency room on Sunday for dehydration and what we thought was a hemorrhoid. The hemorrhoid in question was what is called a prolapsed rectum. This is where the rectal tissue comes out. I have been told by both her surgeons this isn't uncommon when young children have chronic tummy issues. Blake's bottom is raw and has open sores due to the acid from the stool ( I know TMI). She screams every time she goes to the bathroom and it she is in pain. We have come to the conclusion it is a food aversion. The allergist switched her off of whole soy milk back to her old formula which is neocate jr and we are to cut out all dairy and soy products. It will take a little while for her system to get back to normal which means in the interim I still have a child in pain. My heart breaks for her and my ears might not be able to take much more.
On top of that Palmer is having tummy issues too which has led to a bad bottom.
End result here people is two toddlers crying A LOT! I know this is selfish but if everyone could just say a little prayer for my sanity and for the girls to have a lightning quick recovery.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Twice is Nice!

There are many positives and sometimes negatives (enter sad face) to having multiples. One of the wonderful positives is being a part of the BAMOM (Birmingham Area Mom of Multiples). One event that the BAMOM club host twice a year is a ginormous consignment sale. Not everyone in the club sales but those who do pull items, wash, dry, enter, print, tag, hang, pin, load, unload, place items at building, work, work some more, eat, work some more, chat, laugh, vent a little frustration, tear down, grab your stuff and go home! Oh then sleep a ton. It is hard work but we have multiples so we are used to hard work 24 hours a day. Making a little or a lot of money and meeting some new friends along with sharing stories about our births and kids adventures is really amazing and special.
While hanging and sorting some christmas clothes (and cute ones at that) I was chatting with two other moms. We all tend to ask each other these questions and in order...
1. How old are your kids?
2. Girls? Boys? How many of each?
3. How many weeks were you?
The last question tends to lead toward your story. Believe it or not there are more miracle stories than you can believe. It is truly amazing how God creates these tiny double, triple, etc. blessings in our bellies then grows them and helps get them in to the world.
One mother told of her mono twins (which are babies that share the same sack and one cord). How one of her boys didn't have a complete cord and the doctors told her to terminate because it would eventually die. After leaving that physician she went to see the MFM who I had seen as well when carrying the twins. Each week he told her the news and how it wasn't necessarily good but that they would keep keeping on. 37 weeks later the doctor amazingly chose to stop by her room to check on her and they did a ultrasound. One of the babies was in distress and they immediately took them. Now they are wonderful happy healthy boys. A God thing... YA THINK?
As my shift was winding down I was signing out one of AAAAMMAAZZIINNGGG mothers of multiples. She is battling and has been battling cancer for several months now. She has twin boys who are small. She goes back and forth between Birmingham and MD Anderson in Houston. She will be having a transplant soon. She came and worked all weekend like a hero then at 9:30 p.m. at night after working all day had to go home and flush her ports which take 1 hour. Wow! God is providing time, money, and ENERGY for her and her family. Can you imagine having twin boys and having cancer. You are amazing in my eyes.
Another m.o.m. had cancer when her twins were a little over a year old and went through chemo and radiation while managing motherhood.
With all this said the twice as nice sale is not only a way to rid your attic, garage, closet, etc. of items that are collecting dust you also meet wonderful women who truly define what a MOTHER is! Although my dogs were barking I enjoyed every minute.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The wheels on the bus go round and round....

The wheels on the Moran bus starting rolling at around 10 a.m. Wednesday morning heading to Cincinnati, Ohio. The trip started off well. We hit a few tantrum and crying bumps along the road, but in general it was okay. Stopping several times for diaper changes and bottle feedings and then once at a rest area where we threw out a blanket and let all three of our little piggies roam. Since Kentucky has decided to do road construction THROUGH THE ENTIRE STATE it literally took us 5 hours to get through it which is UNEXCEPTABLE! This sort of put everyone over the edge. Finally we saw the cities bright lights and saw our sign for Mason, OH which is about 20 miles outside the city. The Bradley's were ready and waiting to unload, take kids, entertain, and feed! Pot roast and mashed potatoes did the trick for sure.
Bright and early the next morning Jeff, B, and I loaded up and headed to Children's for her MRI. It always brings back memories walking in to a place you used to roam multiple times a day. You see staff that you used to encounter and those you just recognize their face. It is nice to be entering with a healthy baby.
Once back in the radiology we waited a bit for them to get started. The nurse took Blake and paraded her around the nurses station as she showed everyone her many faces and smile. Then we said goodbye and off we went to our standard spot at the patio in the cafeteria. She was given gas then a IV and sedation. The scan took about 2 hours and another 30 minutes in recovery. When the nurse called us back she was holding her giving her a bottle of apple juice. She was in and out but dead weight. The scan went well and then we headed back to the Bradleys.
Blake slept most of the day so we hung out at the Bradley's, played outside in the nice weather, napped, and ate dinner. Oh and lets not forget yummy Raspberry Chip Graeters! On Friday we again headed out to the hospital to meet with her surgeon Dr. Lim. He met us up at the clinic and took us over to the Fetal Care Center where it all began. We made small talk and he seemed genuinely happy to see us. Commenting every so often about how her smile is illuminating and that she is so happy. The nurses and staff at the FCC all came out of their offices to see us. I had not seen them since I was large and in charge. She put on a show for them by clapping, smiling, shouting, and doing her "ta-da" trick. They ate it up.
Dr. Lim showed us her MRI images and explained to us what we were looking at. He said her anus was still a little off but that was expected and that she had minimal scar tissue and everything looked nice. Her spine was wonderfully aligned (our chiropractor would be happy) and all organs looked to be in place. He then did a internal exam. He felt her bone and he said it felt smooth and that he didn't feel anything unusual. Our plan is to continue AFP blood work every three months and then we will head back to Ohio next August for another MRI. This routine will continue until she is 3, then we will re-evaluate. Such a wonderful report and exactly what we wanted to hear!
He said time will only tell about her bowel and bladder control. We will start to potty train her around 2 and see from there. I would like everyone to pray that she will be one of the rare few that are not plagued with these issues. When she is 3 we will meet with a plastic surgeon to examine her and give us a rough idea of when and how plastics will take place. More than likely she will not have any type of surgery until she is 5 or 6. It will be a long process from our understanding. Dr. Lim said he would refer us to a world class surgeon which two of them happen to be at Children's Cincinnati right now. Jeff and I have decided we will go to any length to get her the best butt money can buy-ha!
After a wonderful weekend of fellowship with old and new friends (especially at the celebrating healthy babies social), a little retail therapy, and delicious food we headed back early on Sunday morning. The trip home was much easier due to no road construction. Glad to be back in Alabama but I always miss my Ohio family. Can't wait to see them soon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Birth Day

It has finally arrived. A much thought about and anticipated day has come without fail. Each child's birthday is a special day. Whether it is the 1st or the 31st. It was the day that they arrived into the world and stated a fresh moment in time. So, obviously with the twins birthday having arrived I am so happy. My babies are growing up. This year has flown by and I'm not sure that I am happy about it (insert sad face). I have enjoyed having babies around again. Their sweet hearts and cuddly little bodies is wonderful. I will miss this stage just as I miss each stage we blow through.
Jeff & I stood in our kitchen this morning while the girls laid in their nap nannies drinking their morning bottle. He reminded me that we had JUST fallen asleep after having a long long night one year ago. The night I went in to labor was extremely long, tiring, and scary. We were placed in a broom closet for one and it was about 100 degrees in there. I was pumped full of medicine that made me feel terrible and then became physicially sick from the pain. Vomitting while pregnant is about as fun as having a splinter. I knew that I was thankful to see the sunrise! Then I fell asleep. I don't remember anything after that until my grandparents arrived which was about 8 hours later. Thank goodness for lack of memory, right. This day one year ago was the most emotionally exhausting day I will more than likely ever experience. Jeff & I would remind ourselves over and over again just to think of the future and how we would look back one year later. I have never been more confused of my emotions at any moment than the moment the doctors told me they were beginning to cut. It was a feeling of terror+peace+relief.
Standing there with Jeff I stared at Blake in amazement. When you think back to the day she was born, knowing she was lifeless and broken, knowing she probably wasn't going to live one day past her birthday, dreading the 1 year mark if she hadn't made it, it truly is a miracle to see her even smile. More less crawl, stand, laugh, and play. They were so tiny and fragile. Looking at their 20 some odd pound chunky bodies now it is hard to imagine a once so tiny body that your fingers could wrap around their legs and your hand stretched almost the length of their body.
I am so glad that I am singing happy birthday to a set of twins this year instead of only one and visiting the others grave marker. The Lord provided our family with a blessing two times over. He knew that we needed a deeper understanding of the value life, love, and true friendship from others. Instead of him teaching us a lesson he blessed us. Looking over it now, one year later, it is so obvious to see. Funny how that works,huh.
I want to thank each of you for your kindness and prayers over this last year. I know some of you and don't know some of you but you all are precious friends in my book. Our family is blessed! Happy Birthday to my girls Blake & Palmer. You are little miracles.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Grace's Kitchen

As I posted earlier in the year, Grace's Kitchen is a food mission organization here in Birmingham. The founders are members at Hunter Street where I attend church. Every week on Thursday morning bright and early, volunteers to to a nearby local park and feed the homeless who gather while also sharing the gospel. For the summer months instead of the usual turkey sand. we have been making yummy trail mix!

This is my week to make my share! I so enjoy doing it and it gives me a sense of pride knowing my efforts make a difference to someone. As a stay at home mom of three it is very hard to get out into the community as much as I would like too to assist others, so this is a great way. Plus the trail mix is super yum and I always have left overs that I tend to munch and munch and munch on until whoops its all gone. If you buy all generic ingredients from Walmart it will make 30 bags filled with about 1 cup each for around $20.00! That will feed 30 people.

I am posting the recipe below for everyone. For those of you in the Birmingham and surrounding areas who ever feel led to make granola or turkey sand. for Grace's Kitchen please feel free to contact me and I can put you in touch with the right lady.

Honey Trail Mix

6 cups corn chex (half box)

1 1/2 cups roasted salted almonds (half of a 16 oz. bag)

1 1/2 cups cocktail peanuts (half of a 16 oz. container)

1 6 oz. package dried cranberries

1 1/2 cups golden raisins (half of a 15 oz. bag)

3 cups tiny twist pretzels (half of 16 oz. bag)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

3/4 cup honey

16+ zip top sandwich baggies

**This amount of ingredients makes 15 bags**

1. Combine all dry ingredients

2. Melt butter

3. Combine melted butter and honey together

4. Mix honey/butter mixture with dry ingredients

5. spread on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

6. Bake at 300 for 30 minutes

7. Place on wax paper to cool for about 2 hours.

8. Scoop 1 cup into baggies.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

52 weeks

This time last year so many things changed forever. One of these things will always bring Jeff & I both to tears. Here is a little bedtime story.
On a October day in 2005 Jeff and I welcomed our first precious baby girl into our lives. She was brindle, would eventually weigh 60 pounds, and was a slobbery mess. Man did we love her! Lola Bear Moran was my gift to Jeff for our one year anniversary.
He had spoke to me several times about wanting his "own" dog and that he had dreamed of wanting a bulldog. So I searched and searched and found a breeder in Prattville. We drove over one night and looked at the new pups. They weren't ready so if we chose to buy one of them we would have to come back in three weeks. In three weeks we drove back over and took our pic of the liter. A bouncy, fun, energetic plump runt of the group. She was precious, sweet, snuggly, and our new baby.
Over the next couple of years she grew in our hearts and into our family. She was ours! Jeff especially loved her so much. Lola loved for Jeff to hold her and rub her belly. She would grunt and groan with so much happiness and love. Lying around on the couch or on the cold tile was her hobby, talent, and past time. Lola loved Ashlyn Kay and Ashlyn Kay loved Lola. Our family was complete.
Once the twins surprised us and we knew we were going to have to move to Cincinnati for a period of time we had to find a place for both of our dogs temporarily. Foxy would be staying in Wetumpka with my uncle and Lola would be going to a home in Tennessee for a while. Unknown to me she would not be returning. I said goodbye to my dogs but with intentions that I would be returning to them. I, about a month later, found out that Lola had been adopted by a young couple in Nashville, TN. I was devastated and angry. Jeff made the heart breaking decision to let her go. With the unknown about the girls he felt that I would not be able to care for her properly while caring for three small children. Eventually I would realize he made a wise decision.
Today he reminded me that 52 weeks ago he dropped her off and said goodbye forever. He willingly will admit and he cried like a girl. He has contact with the owner via facebook and wrote her today. I had never looked at the message's between him and the owner and he convinced me too tonight. After reading about two messages I broke down crying and didn't read anymore.
Although it was the right decision it still doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. I miss her big butt and sadly her toots every night at bedtime. She was always happy and welcoming. She loved us with all her body fat.
For those reading this that don't have pets or have never known the love of a cat or a dog it is unexplainable. They give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside that says, " You are amazing in every way." No other human can provide you with that feeling at any moment of any day and with a rub of the belly their life is complete and you were the one who completed it for them.
I love you so much Lola and I will always miss you and your snaggle tooth!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

mommy moment

Yesterday a dear friend and her husband welcomed their two very healthy baby boys into the world. I was so happy and excited for them. As if I had the boys myself. I find myself feeling this way a lot lately or more so after I had kids. Maybe it is once you make, grow, nurture, care for, and mentally and emotionally love that beating heart before it even arrives that gives you a sense of entitlement to all joy experienced by new mothers of the world. As a mother you sometimes forget that euphoric joy the first time your babies face appeared in your line of vision. It is especially hard to remember it when your child disobeys every single command you have issued that day.
So when I found out that my friend was in labor I wanted to run outside onto my driveway and yell.."Hey people my friend is in labor". Then realizing that if anyone heard me they might ask. "Who are you even talking about Kristen and why are you yelling to us about it." I would obviously respond, DUH! don't you know my friend? she is the one having twins (thinking to myself that everyone should know everyone that is having twins). Despite my desires to shout with joy on my front porch I instead shouted to my husband. He promptly told me to calm down because I was acting as if I was having the babies. Well I sort of felt l was.
Which sort of brings me back to the reason I was writing this blog. Once a mommy always a mommy. You feel what they are feeling. You can almost hear those first small tiny cries. Everything rushes back to you and you wish you push a rewind button and experience that one moment all over again without the 9 months of pregnancy, labor, and sleepless nights to come. I am so proud of my friend who carried twin boys to 38 weeks, labored 24 hours, and pushed those VERY healthy boys out all by herself!
Congrats Amy & Adam! You have brought back a mothers memories and will now get to experience a wonderful double blessing!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Looking back

One year ago today I was getting ready to board a plane and say goodbye to my friends and family and heading to Ohio. I can look back and remember feeling sad to say goodbye but I was ready to feel safe in Ohio with the doctors I was depending on to take care of my girls and myself. It was the beginning of another new stage in our never ending journey. Being able to look back now is such a relief.
Reading over my post from that day it was actually short and sweet. If you know me or read these post nothing is short and sweet for this lady. I guess I was much more nervous than I letting on. It could have also been God's arms tightly wrapped around me and constantly reminding me to take a deep breath and trust in him. For once I am glad I listened.
Knowing now that the next day would be a very hard one and probably the hardest atl that point I wish I could go back in time and prepare myself. Our first appointment once we made it to Ohio was not good.
First off I had to lie in a MRI machine on one side for over a hour. For those of you that have been pregnant lying in one position for any amount of time is never fun. Now imagine your body has two babies, entirely too much fluid, and its hot (good Lord it was hot). I can recall sweat running down all parts of that big body and crying. I finally had to tell them to get me out of there or I might go all "Wetumpka" on them and even though they didn't know it that is not what would "make their day". At the end of our appointments that day the doctors were not hopeful. They anticipated a delivery that week and both girls not surviving. Boy were they wrong!! It is moments like that when I am thankful I get to take by girls back one year later and say "told ya so!"
In 11 days our girls will be 1! 1 people. Oh my good gracious how far we have come. Grab your kleenex, snuggly blanket, and a open heart because on August 9th I will recall the most horrible, worst, no good, very bad, wonderfully AMAZING day of my life!

Monday, July 25, 2011

adventures into manual mode

Jeff gave me a really nice, super duper, amazing, what
else....oh camera for christmas in 2009. I literally got down on my knees and begged for it so I was very happy when it was presented to me. Over the last couple of years I have gradually and when I say gradually I mean two years later I am still learning how to use this darn thing. I have watched DVD's, read instruction books, and poured over you tube videos. I am currently saving up money to take a course at "click". From what I understand manual mode is where its at. I believe after much practice I might be on way to finally being able to take decent photographs. Here is mine and AK's little session today! BTW I would pay big bucks to bottle up her hair color!
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

A birthday on a budget

If you know me at ALL you know I go ALL out for birthdays! I live by the philosophy that the day you are born is pretty special, so shouldn't we celebrate with coordinating paper products and amazing cake. I do believe so! Who wants to have a party where the paper products don't match the theme or for goodness sake there is no theme at all! THE HORROR!!!

AK's birthday was Dora themed (sort of). Everything was planned down to a tee. I obviously intend to do the same for my precious twins. Ashlyn Kay's first birthday was a extravaganza to say the least. There were about 50 people invited, hotdogs, hamburgers, chips, baked beans, a wonderful huge cupcake shaped cake, coordinating paper products and a child who could have cared less. Ha!
Not wanting to skimp on the twins I wanted to do the same, but being a stay at home mom of three rather than a working mom of one I have no time, no energy, and have gotten a little more sense of reality. So in thinking of their party (which I started mentally planning in Jan.) I opted for a family party. It will include all of my family, Jeff's family, and some very close friends who should be family. I want it to be special though for several reasons.
The first which is obvious...its their 1st birthday. It only happens once.
Second, their birthday was a little bit, how do say, chaotic. Not really your idea of a happy occasion. I feel like they were jipped last year, especially Palmer. We were so focused on Blake she didn't get as much attention.
Third and final reason is because we have made it through the hardest year of our lives (so far) with twins and Blake has by far surpassed our expectations and she can now be considered a SCT survivor!
I mean when I look back at all of those reason we should actually hold a town parade with a concert to follow. Note to self...find band, animals, floats, and beads to throw-ha.

So with all this being said I want to make it perfect but economical too. This is where birthday on a budget comes in.

Items needed: invitations, cake/cupcakes, paper products, food, decorations.
One good thing about having a family party you don't have to do party favors. So that is a budget savor right there.

1. Invitations. These can be expensive or cheap but not tacky. I chose to look on etsy for a invitation that came in a PDF file then you can print off just the amount you need and buy plain white envelopes at a office supply store.
I purchased a custom invitation PDF from etsy for $12.00 and printed them on cardstock which I already had.

2. Cake/cupcakes. Fortunately if you are having a one year birthday and have signed up for a baby club at a grocery store such as Publix or Winn-Dixie baby club, they typically send you a coupon for a free dozen cupcakes or a discount on a cake. I received two vouchers for two dozen cupcakes from Winn-Dixie. Yay-cupcakes are going to cost me $0.00.
Every one year old needs a "smash cake". You can opt for a single cupcake or a small 5-7" round cake. These are easy to make and you can decorate them however you choose. I actually found someone here in the Birmingham area who makes cakes out of her home. She is doing the smash cakes for the twins at the reasonable price of $12.00.

3. Paper products. I will purchase pink and green plates from dollar general or party city. You can normally find a coupon too.

4. Also, to add a little flair I order cupcake wrappers from etsy that coordinate with the color scheme. They were $8.00 for 24. You wrap them around your finished cupcakes for a super cute look. I also ordered a jar of sugar pearls which were $4.50. I will top each cupcake with one large sugar pearl. Just for cuteness.

5. Decorations. Depending on where you are having it you can always do a vase of fresh flowers (gerber daisies) are always great for kids or their favorite toys if its trucks/trains/cars. Add a small chalk board on a picture frame stand with their name and their age in fun colors. If you want some type of banner there are plenty of felt banner patterns online for free. So many cheap options.

6. Food. Make sure to go kid friendly. For our party we are doing lunch. I have opted for bbq chicken, baked beans, potato salad, and fruit. I will purchase these items in bulk from a wholesale club. Don't forget lemonade, tea, or water. Lemonade is pretty cheap.

With all this said you should be able to come out $50.00 or less. I am going a little higher just because we have a large family and will have about 20-25 people here. I will post pictures on how it turned out!

the grand total...

If you happen to catch my previous post on my adventures into couponing land then you will be able to notice my pile of stuff that I basically got for free. Several of the items I did receive for free.
AK and I loaded up after aerobics class and took the list and coupon dora ziplock baggie into the local Winn-Dixie. Now I am a tride and true Publix gal, but Winn-Dixie is having double coupons right now...so I'm in!

I had made a list on my "ALL OUT" list pads. Which are a-maz-ing BTW. They are pads with a magnet on the back that you slap on the fridge. It has just about every item you might need and then for those with some strange items you have a blank column. You check your items, tear it off, and off to the store you go! love it!

After making our way quickly through the store with a melt down by AK along the way. Short story:
Child wants cookie
Child is offered free sample
Child want pink sprinkle covered cookies that only come in a dozen
Mom sees no on list and says no
Child sits down in disgusting grocery store floor and cries with crocodile size tears streaming from face as we make our way to the checkout counter.

I place my items with the help of the cashier onto the moving belt. Hand over my rewards card and my coupons.
Starting total $79.00. Drum roll please..........................................................

$29. 60!!!

So for 29.60 I bought:
2 boxes of Cheerios cereal (one was free)
2 Jif peanut butter containers
8 pack of Bounty
8 pack of Charmin
10 jars of baby food (I buy the meat because I can't bring myself to grind up chicken) yuck
1 container of Gain detergent
2 boxes of plastic baggies (free)
1 container of hand soap(free)
3 boxes of kleenex(free)
1 package of little swimmers
3 packages of uncle bens ready to serve rice
I vote today as a success. I intend to do much better as I continue on this new journey of mine. I want to get to the point where I owe 0.01!
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Couponing challenge

I recently couponing. I have always enjoyed a good bargain, but have no problem paying full price. Sounds insane but when I need something I need it then. Seeing as the house we live in is packed to the brim with "stuff" I don't really have a need for more "stuff". Conquering chaos post will come later so stay tuned for that big adventure.
Yesterday I went through the weekly circular, picked out the items I had to have, such as toilet paper, paper towels, etc. Then I shifted through my box o coupons. Pulled the coupons that coordinated with the needed items on my list, totalled my expected savings and put my list and coupons in a nice little Dora the Explorer zip lock bag courtesy of "meme the great".
Here is my list:
Beechnut baby food-10 for $5.00-$1.00 coupon=$4.00
Huggies little swimmers diapers-$7.49-$6.00 coupon=$1.49
Merita Bread-BOGO (no coupon)
General Mills cereal-BOGO +$1.50 coupon
Gain detergent-$3.99-.50 coupon
Jif peanut butter-BOGO (no coupon)
Gillette fusion razor-$8.99-$6.00 coupon
Bounty paper towels & Charmin toilet paper (12 roll packs) $15.99 for both and receive
napkins, kleenex, ziploc bags for free + .25 coupon+.50 coupon
Uncle bens ready rice-3 for $5.00-$1.50 coupon

I'm estimated by total to be somewhere in the $20.00-$30.00 range.

Stayed tuned to see how the first big attempt at couponing goes! Who knows if I succeed you might see me on TLC oneday. LOL!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Growing up

(AK on her birthday)

This past Friday, my biggest girl turned 3. 3! people. I know that when the life span of most the ladies in my family is in the 90's, three doesn't seem very big, but to a woman who vividly remembers every moment (well all the moments I was awake) of her childbirth, three seems insane. Jeff asked if we should go ahead and get a car for her since she would be turning 16 soon? Ha! Time has flown by. Which is understandable when you have three kids in three years.

Friday we celebrated right from the start of the day at 6:30 a.m. She woke up to her parents singing her happy birthday like fools. If 18 Kristen could talk to me now she would probably say, "what is wrong with you lady". "Leave the kid alone". Then she got to get her first official birthday gift, which was a aqua kidcraft pretend kitchen. She loved it!

My mother, sister, Mary-Ross, and I took her to the Galleria and let her ride the merry-go-round, then she headed to the American Cookie Co. to have a sugar cookie, topped off with some chick-fil-a. The next adventure was the train that rides around the mall. She loves that train so much. Her yaya thought it would be a good a idea to let her go to build-a-bear and build her very first bear. She was more concerned about the computers over in the corner where you register your bear rather than the actual building of the bear. Finally she picked out a panda bear. She stuffed it and then proceeded to accessorize this bear with purses, sunglasses, beds, shoes, and everything else. Her panda bear was not complete without a bear as well. She named her bear "allie" and then we dragged ourselves to the checkout line.

I believe these people at build-a-bear go as slow as possible so the children continue to walk around the store and find stuff then whine and complain in the line until they are certain that they will be going home with the needed item. Ashlyn Kay happened to find a poodle which was dressed in a University of Alabama outfit, she had on shoes and roller skates, and lease and collar around her neck. This allowed AK to dragged this poor poodle all over the store. Now her mind was not focused on her once loved panda bear allie but on this poor poodle. After having a fit and much explanation I told a lie to the child on her birthday and we escaped with our panda and no poodle. Whew! Close call.

The following day she had a pool party. It was so much fun and great weather. She thought everyone was her cousin. Great day!

Now after the making of cake pops, push up pop cupcakes, chocolate/sprinkled covered pretzels I have officially retired from the bakery business. For the twins birthday I am having someone make the smash cakes and cupcakes. No more baking for this lady!

Birthdays are a big deal to me and go completely over the top but I want each and every birthday to be a the best day of her life. Life should be a celebration so that is exactly what I intend to do each and every year. Blow it out!

Now she is three and its hard to say. What is even harder to say is that in a short three weeks I will have two 1 year olds to add to the bunch. Off to plan the monkey's party!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fireworks go Boom!

July has been a busy month and its only day 9. We started off the month with a visit to the river in Gadsden, Alabama. Ashlyn Kay was invited to a birthday party at the scenic pool so this was our next stop for the day. Everyone had a wonderful time. Blake found her love for all things peach and Jeff proved he can still do a double flip off the high dive. First adventure for the month proved to be a plus!
On the 4th of July we again loaded the trusty silver bullet with our 3 large bags packed full of only God knows what inside of them and ventured out to Lay Lake. My bestie Shena invited us to join in on their family day. Ashlyn Kay has decided she wants to be a river rat. She swam all over that lake. Palmer would like to join in with her. We had to keep a close eye on Miss P because she would kick herself in her little float away from everyone and try to escape. The first boat ride for the twins was a success and AK says tubing makes her feel like baby Jaguar. Not positive how the tubing and baby jaguar are related but hey she had a good time so I guess it doesn't matter much.
Tuesday was Clampets go to The Ridge on Lake Martin. My mother, my sister, Mary-Ross, Ashlyn Kay, Palmer, Blake and myself all loaded the bullet again with what seemed like the full stock of buy buy baby and drove the hour trip to The Ridge. We visited with the Bradley's from Ohio and had so much fun. My grandparents joined us for dinner at their house. It was a fantastic time of good food and good friends. Kudos to Amanda for her banana/chocolate chip cupcakes!
The next adventure which if you lost count we are now on day #8 of the month, was a trip to Wetumpka for my grandfathers 75th birthday. BBQ chicken, baked beans, corn, and a yummy snickers DQ birthday cake made it a wonderful day. At the end the grand kids and great grand kids took a picture with papa to commemorate the day. It was one man, 3 grand daughters, and 4 great grand daughters. That is alot of women!
After 8 days of traveling, water, fireworks, and good times mama needed a break. A babysitter was hired and Jeff & I headed to dinner and a movie. Yay for adults!
Even though this month has just begun we have much more fun to come. Ashlyn Kay will be turning 3 on friday the 15th. I just can not believe this time three years ago and I was walking like a woman on fire to get her to drop like a fly out of my belly. We will be celebrating the birthday with a pool party and lots of cake. Jeff and I bought her a kitchen and my parents/grandparents bought her a Dora the Explorer Jeep Wrangler Power Wheels. I am expecting a moment of total mindless jumping and screaming when she sees these two items. I can't wait! Pictures will be posted.
The twins just turned 11 months old. This also is mind blowing to me. This week last year I was having one of my many trips to the hospital for a overnight stay or two due to contractions. We were preparing and packing for our unknown journey to Ohio. So glad to be on this side now. I took some pictures of the twins today with their 10 month circles on and will take a couple in a about three weeks of them with their 11 month circles on. I don't feel like their faces change much but their need for speed sure does. At one point today, Blake climbed onto the seat AK's pottery barn anywhere chair, onto the back, and threw one leg onto the end table. All this before we could make it across the room to stop her. She was aiming for a DVD so she could again play it like a tambourine. OMword! I say NO maam a lot these days. They are hilarious though. Dancing, babbling, and crawling, standing, and climbing. Loving it!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A mothers heart

Before you have a child you hear people saying and displaying love for their children. You try and imagine the strongness of that love for a child. Once you have children of your own you realize that were so far off from the exactly how much love you need and have for a human being and life you helped create. The parts of their adorable bodies that resemble you are a constant reminder they are yours and how forever they will always be yours. You see your personality in them (which sometimes is a good thing or a bad thing-lol). When they smile at you it literally makes your heart experience a feeling of immediate euphoria and joy. I wish that someone could bottle up a childs smile so that one day when you are having a down day you can open it and it releases this amazing joy that is better than any drug.

After being on a short vacation from all my girls I realized just how much I do miss them and enjoy their tiny moments everyday. I also received some news while I was out of town. Some friends of Jeff and I who were in our old sunday school class a two small children. One of which is Jacob. He is AK's age and they have been in the nursery together since they were born. The Dubois family is absolutely precious and we enjoy them so much as well as Jacob. They were so supportive of us while we are living in Ohio and prayed for our family. This weekend their son went to a routine well visit and was sent for further testing for possible leukemia. He was diagnosed and is now at childrens hospital here in Birmingham. He is having testing today to determine the specific type of cancer and stage. He will also be receiving his port today for chemotherapy. I am asking everyone to add them to their daily prayer list. He is a sweet 3 year old little boy is about to be changed forever. His parents will experience a strength like they never have before with help from prayers and The Lord.

Here is a link to his his FB page that has been created.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

9 down...3 to go

9 months has come and passed us by with a quickness here at the Moran household. On Thursday Blake and Palmer met another milestone. 10 months! Everyone that sees the girls keeps telling me how big they have gotten. I believe them. I remember with Ashlyn Kay that first year crept by slowly. I couldn't wait for her to roll over, sit up, crawl, walk, talk, and everything in between. It seemed to come and go slowly. After her first year I felt like it had truly been A...WHOLE...YEAR. I am not getting that feeling with the twins. We started so late with them and each and everyday blows past me and something new has happened. It is truly amazing to be able to sit (well actually stand because I never sit) and watch how a child grows and how wondrous God's creations are. It is mind blowing to even try to comprehend.
So here is what we can do:

1. Crawl....FAST!. P still army crawls but man can she move. Blake gets up on her hands and knees, crawls for a bit, then gets mad and lays down, pitches a fit, then goes and does it all over again.
2. Pull up on knees.
3. Move from a crawling position to a sitting position and visa versa without busting of the face on tile or wood flooring.
4. Devourer fingers foods such as puffs and their favs right now are Baby Mum Mums
5. B can hold her own bottle when forced and P well that is a different story. She obviously feels like she is too special to do that. She is the princess.
6. Palmer says Mama
7. We are weaning Blake off of her Neocate on to Soy formula. Praise the Lord for that!

Her AFP this month was 78.1 which is down from 112. So thankful for this drop in numbers.

We are going to be taking our first vacation together this upcoming thursday to Orange Beach. This vacation is with Jeff's family. I have decided that it must be documented for comedic purposes. So I am going to take pictures start to finish of our vacation. My friend says she is going to put the pics to video and place music from National Lampoon. Probably fitting if I am guessing. It is going to be so much fun with 3 grandparents, 6 parents, and 7 kids ranging from 10yr-10 months. Caribe Resort be AWARE!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Good Tuesday people. Its been a wonderful day here in the Moran house. Started it out with the twins wanting to take a early nap. Yay for mommy getting to enjoy her vanilla creamer with a touch of coffee (love it sweet) & nutella slathered all over toasted wheat bread and a little of the Today show. Normally the twins are bouncing in their seats and AK has taken over the tube with Dora or Peppa Pig, but since Ashlyn Kay actually chose to take a little vacation to "tumpka" as she calls it with her Meme the Great & Papa this weekend I had the house (sort of) to myself.
Then a sweet friend of mine has a set of almost 13 year old twin girls who are out for summer. So I asked them to come over and help out with the girls so I can get stuff done around the house. The big twins played, fed, changed, bathed, entertained again the little twins. All while I cleaned the whole house at one time and not over a period of a week I would like to add, organized a little, and relaxed with some young girls. So obviously if this wasn't the best day ever already then surgeon here in Birmingham's nurse called and gave us Blake's numbers.
December her AFP was 103, March it was 112, and in June it is now down to 78.1. So this is amazing! We haven't heard from Dr. Lim yet but he normally calls a day or so after they fax the results from here to his office. We are so relieved. I was worried about it. We are just so close to our 1 year mark with no major hiccups and I am just ready to start counting down the years for her as a SCT survivor. As usual God has proven to me and reminded me that worrying is his job and not mine. I need to focus my worry into prayer and allow him to work. I love how I have to continue to write this. Ha. You think I would get it by now. I guess I am my daddy's daughter....stubborn as a mule. Love you daddy!

On another note. I took Blake to a chiropractor this week. Yes, yes I know some people think chiropractors are vodoo doctors but here in the Moran household we love them. I fully believe in modern medicine and love it but if there are alternative routes I like to explore those as well. Jeff & I have been concerned with the alignment of Blake's spine and felt a chiropractor would be the least invasive doctor to check her out and watch it. Dr. Jenni Goodman did a scan on her spine to evaluate the autonomic nerves that are damaged and being compressed by her vertebrae. The majority were in the lower portion of her spine which is expected since the tumor was at the base of her spine. She did some adjusting and will continue to adjust her weekly for a while to place the vertebrae back in to alignment and take the pressure off of those nerves to allow for regeneration. Since a lot of her nerves from the tumor to her sacrum were cut she has a large amount of damage. This is the reason why SCT babies have bowel issues. Dr. Goodman is trying to allow these nerves which sometimes give her potty issues to be more open. I'm not saying this will be the cure for the world but if it doesn' t harm my child and only works towards improvement, then why the heck not adjust away. She also put her and Palmer on probiotics to help put back good bacteria in to their immune system.

Things are great here and blessings are many!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June has officially arrived! I love the summer. I love the sun, pool time, beach time, and lake time. Shorts and tanks make me oh so happy. The summer is also a birthday extravaganza in my family. We just added our first May birthday, this goes to MR. (mary-ross). June brings my mother & ME! July brings AK & my Papa. Then August we will celebrate my Meme & my tiny girls (Palmer & Blake). A lot of cake to be eaten ahead that is for sure. This year June brings another important day. Blake has another AFP check this month. In December we were so pleased with the AFP level. It was 103, down from a count of thousands. March we were hoping for 70's and her count was 112. I was concerned, but was reassured by the surgeons that this was no big deal and we will recheck in June as planned. So here we are in June.

Today Blake had a 6 month (post surgery) follow up with the surgeon here in Birmingham. I also have had some lingering concerns/issues I was anxious to talk to a surgeon about. I actually was looking forward to this appointment. Dr. Harmon started off by checking her tumor site. He felt her wounds which are now scarred over looked well. We talked about potty issues which we will continue to monitor until she is fully potty trained. She is having a slight issue but nothing totally unmanageable or concerning right now. Now that Blake sits up on her own we are so happy, but have a concern because she has a slight lean forward while sitting instead of sitting up straight like most babies. She does this to compensate for the uneven bottom she has. Jeff & I are concerned that she will do this forever and her spine will grow with a curve and she could create scoliosis. The surgeon said that was out of his range of expertise and is referring her to a ortho doc to keep a watch on this. So that made me happy. :)

Then we got to the AFP concerns. I asked what our next game plan was or would be for a increase or decrease or stay the same. If her number drops (say 50 points) then that is great and everything continues on as normal with quarterly rechecks and the 1 year MRI in Cincy. If her number increases (say 50 points) then he wants to have a MRI done and see if there is anything on the images. Then obviously asses from there. If the number stays the same then he said he would have to scratch his head and think that one over. So still not sure about that. He went ahead and had the lab draw the AFP today. I should have a call from his nurse on Tuesday with her results. He was also going to call Lim to update him on the current plan of action.

So now as usual we sit and wait...anxiously wait for those numbers that I look forward to and dread hearing all at the same time every three months. He reassured me that this is a part of having a SCT baby and that its part of the game as unfair as that is. Bluh is what I want to say!
As usual I intend to continue my daily prayers for her numbers to show what we need them too. We are so close to a major milestone marker with no hiccups. I think being in the NICU was easier because you expected problems and when they didn't happen you were so relieved and surprised. Now that we have two bouncing happy baby girls it just shakes me to think something might happen. I will continue to trust in the Lord that he does have a plan and his plan does not include harm to her.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

More excitement

A week ago the insanity began. Well I guess I should say more insanity than normal since our lives appear to be a three ring circus on a daily basis. Two Fridays ago Blake woke up from her nap hacking like and wheezing as if she had just burned a whole pack of Marlboro Reds in her crib while napping. Of course her symptoms didn't show until around 4 p.m. This meant we had to drive over to Children's South after hours clinic on Acton Road instead of going to the pediatricians office. Thankfully we didn't wait very long. Blake had a chest x-ray, had her O2 saturation measured, all body parts checked out. The doctor determined she needed a Albuterol breathing treatment. She felt much better afterwards then they sent us home.
The following morning she woke up hacking and wheezing again. Jeff and I held her down (horrible) and gave her two more breathing treatments. After they didn't seem to be working the pediatricians nurse sent us to Children's Hospital downtown. Once we arrived her O2 saturation was 88 and it needs to be above 90. She was given, oxygen and a 45 minute breathing treatment. After several hours and little improvement we were admitted. Blake and I stayed there until they released us Sunday afternoon. She was much better, but still very congested and coughing badly. At one point we thought Palmer was coming down with bronchilitis too. We had Blake in the hospital, Palmer showing signs but scheduled for tubes on Tuesday, and my sister about to have a baby any day. Chaos!
The doctor checked everyone out and all was good to go. Palmer had surgery tuesday and she did amazing and seems to be improving quickly.
Finally on Wednesday things started to slow down until AK starting running a fever and coughing. Ugh! To say the least a week of fevers and snot just about killed me.
Palmer had tubes on Tuesday morning. She did great! On that note I have a little rant. As we were sitting there waiting on the nurses to call us back a family of four entered the waiting area. First off, it clearly states and you are told only 2 people per child are allowed because the waiting area isn't very large. This family with one child and three adults cruised in. As they did they brought with them a cloud of cigarette smoke. It looked a little like lyoness (spelling?) in charlie brown who had the cloud of dirt behind him all the time. I literally had to catch my breath when they walked by. To this family: is it absolutely necessary to take that final drag off your cig before entering a childrens surgical facility? Not to mention it is extremely unhealthy for your small childs little lungs. Ugh...so disgusting! Oh and of course they chose to sit right up on me!
My sweet mother in law came to help for the day thankfully. Palmer wasn't at her best so she was able to hold her while I attended to the other two. Extra hands are always a must.
Thursday was a exciting day! My sister was induced-finally! Mary-Ross Rolling entered the world at 1:26 p.m. on May 26th weighing in at 7 pounds 2 ounces and 21 inches long. She looks exactly (and I mean exactly) like my sister. Brown hair, beautiful Indian skin, and precious as can be. They are all at home now and settling in. So excited!
What a hectic couple of weeks it has been. Hoping for less excitement this week.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Here are my girls! The twins were 7 months and AK was 2 1/2.
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Can you valet my minivan?

Ashlyn Kay went to spend the weekend at her great grandparents house in Wetumpka. She tends to go stay with Meme & Papa about once a month. She obviously loves this because of the constant attention she gets which honestly she needs every now and then. Sharing "her house" with two siblings and a dog has got to get tiring at times. So since AK was out of town and Nana graciously accepted our invitation to come and babysit the twins so Jeff & I could have a night out. The plan was to meet friends at a local sushi place in Homewood and then just hang out and catch up. So excited! What used to be a weekly event is now the most special occasion of the month.
Before we left I asked Jeff if he had cleaned out the Trailblazer (which is his vehicle). He had been in Pleasant Grove all day cleaning up so I knew it probably smelled divine. He then ask me why we aren't taking the van? I turned to him and said, "Well I guess we could but I don't know how I really feel about valeting the minivan." It was like the whole scene played out in his mind right then and there. Two young (er) adults, finishing up with dinner. The wife dressed in a trendy/cute outfit (something other running shorts and a tshirt) and husband looking handsome. He hands over his ticket to the valet guy. While waiting outside of a trendy eatery the valet guy pulls up a variety of vehicles. A SUV, a luxury car, and then there it is the old silver bullet herself. MY MINIVAN! Ummm...no! So he quickly ran outside cleaned out the SUV and off we went. I laugh about it because there was a time in my life (a time not too long ago) where driving a minivan would have brought me to tears and possibly a stand on no driving at all. But here I am 28 and cruising with my three little peeps and loving it...
In conclusion we had a wonderful night. Many thanks to the most wonderful grandparents and great grandparents for allowing us to get out. We made it known that we are still cool and not ready to valet the minivan!

Friday, May 13, 2011

9 months

Another month has come & gone and the girls are 9 MONTHS OLD! One minute I was posting about how they were 8 months old and now here I am posting about how they are 9 months old. Time is moving much quicker than I expected. I am just so thankful that I get to be at home with them and watch each and every change. It amazes me what children can not do and then the next minute they are doing something new. Here are some things we can do since last month.
Palmer: crawl, sit up beautifully, say dada & mama, she also has a tooth, oh and she now is eating finger foods.
Blake: army crawl, sit up, say dada, no teeth yet, and loves her puffs!

Palmer: 16 pounds, 6 ounces, 27 1/2 inches long
Blake: 15 pounds, 14 ounces, 27 3/4 inches long
It seems to be that Blake has passed Palmer in height by a 1/4 of a inch. That is absolutely amazing to us since at 6 months she was still one inch shorter than Miss P.
The girls both have so much personality and they are coming out of their shells, especially Palmer. I am so impressed with how much they learn everyday. Palmer has decided she really loves mommy's ZUMBA music. She sits up, bumps around on her hiney, and yells. It is hilarious!
Times have changed here in the Moran household. Moveable babies-ahh!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Holy Batman!

Yes, this is exactly what you think it is. A tiny but oh so creepy bat. It is hanging from our patio awning in the back of our house. My mother-in-law went outside this afternoon while keeping the twins and saw something, thinking it was a hornets nest, but oh no, nothing that simple, it was a BAT! I grabbed the camera and snapped some shots to confirm. So here is the proof. I seriously get creeped out just looking at the pictures. When Jeff ts home I nominate him to take care of it. I forsee a youtube video in my near future!
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Birthday Project

I have finally finished the baby bishop that I smocked for the twins. Well I smocked one and my friend Lynlee smocked the other one. So I figured since it took me this long (2 months) I should get started on their birthday outfits. I looked online at
several birthday smocking plates and came across one I loved. Today I went to my local fabric store and picked it up. Here are pictures of the plate, pattern, fabric and my thread. I am so excited to get started. Can't wait to share my finished project. Thank goodness I have until August!

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Heavy Heart

At 2:45 a.m. (yes you read that time correctly) I woke up to my iphone alarm clock which is a very peaceful song of church bells. I typically wake up thinking, "where in the heck are those church bells ringing", but this morning I was up at at em. Why was I waking up so early you ask? I had made a personal commitment to myself to go and help with the disaster relief. Here in Birmingham there is a ministry by the name of Graces Kitchen. It is a organization started by two families and they feed the hungry at a park here in Birmingham weekly. One of our sunday school teachers a regular volunteer so we typically get the information about what the ministry is doing. They were allowed to cook hot meals at our church and take them to Pleasant Grover and feed the families in need. They started doing this on Monday and have dedicated theirselves to do this for several weeks. The amount of food they provide is amazing. With this being said it takes a small army to get everything together. There was a schedule posted where people could come volunteer and help cook and deliver the meals. One of the times this week was 3:30-5:30 a.m. and delivery by 6:00 a.m. Since I can not commit to taking meals I knew that this time frame was manageable because thankfully my house is still as a mouse at this time. So I hopped up, threw on some clothes, and out the door I went (not to forget the very gigantic coffee cup in hand)! I was excited! We began with prayer then off to the stoves we went. I helped out with grits. We cooked, stirred, mixed, tasted (yum), and made some yummy cheese grits. Others made bacon, cut fruit, and sausage/cheese muffins (delicious). It was a wonderful time of fellowship and a feeling of accomplishment once everything was done and out the door. I have had this deep sense of urgency resting on my heart to assist but just didn't have the time. What a great ministry Grace's Kitchen is! Way to go peeps!
Back home, quick nap, more coffee, breakfast, back out the door to church again for Zumba. It was a great class and a great workout. Left church, back home, played with the kiddos for a bit, then checked my FB as usual. I was heartbroken to see a old friend was being uplifted with prayer for her currect sorrows. After more investigation realized her husband of less then two years had passed away last night from cancer. Knife to the chest is what I was feeling. I just can't imagine and nor do I care to honestly, but I am a woman and where does my mind go, straight to the sorrow. No one to cook dinners for, no one to yell at about their underwear on the floor, no one to hold my hand at the movies. These are the things I now realize I cherish so much and have no desire to live without. My heart is completely broken for her and all of those affected by this death. Life is so short. Why is it that I forget this everyday. Take for granted everything? I know I shouldn't. Every life is precious in its own way. Tell everyone that you love them today.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hmmm...let's see what is going on in our life right now. Well, first off, ear infections have taken over my twins and refuse to give their happy smiling selves back. First it was B, then P, then B&P, then B, now B&P. I mean that is a lot of ear gunk if your asking me. I resulted in drastic measures today. I took them to my old employer to see Dr. LeJeune. He said hopefully with new antibiotics they will clear up, but I'm betting Blake will be seeing the inside of a operating room soon for tubes. I took them all by myself and they were pretty cranky. We made it out alive..no one left behind. AK did put her "azule" sucker in the exam room trashcan then proceed to take it back out and give it a big lick. GROSS! I'm sure she will live though. Our pictures that we had done of the girls to show their growth so far are back. Hooray. If you want to see them you can go to www.theblinklady.com. Click on Client Proofing, then Private Sittings, scroll to Kristen M., and type in MORAN (caps). Blake wasn't herself that day due to her first ear infection. She normally hams it up. We took our house off the market and are now putting it back on. I am hoping and praying for a sell before the twins 1st birthday. My house has turned in to a play,sewing,office,living space and I don't have that much space. Bless poor little Ashlyn Kay's heart. We don't have room for a play kitchen for her so she uses Jeff's bedside table drawers as ovens. Bless her little imaginary heart. In keeping up with my thankfulness here are some thankful thoughts: 1. A home (too small or too big) I have a place to keep warm and cool 2. A good husband 3. modern medicine 4. Caring friends Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Another Week

Its another week and another day. Starting off the morning good today, thankfully. Starting the morning off right is not always the norm, but more like the exception. The twins didn't wake up until 6:00 which is wonderful. They typically wake up at 5:00 (ouch). No one is sick and all is well. The twins finally (I believe) have gotten over the ear infections that took my sanity just last week. They turned 8 months on Sunday. This is just absolutely unbelievable to me. I honestly believe that they are growing faster than normal-ha! At 8 months they scoot around the floor. One minute they are here and the next they are there. Not full out crawling yet (praise the lord). Yammering away, blowing bubbles, and saying dadadad(not that they know what it means). The Occupational therapist and physicial therapist say the girls are developing wonderfully. Which is such a blessing. At their last appointment they both weighed over 15 pounds and they are in 9 month size clothing. Big girls! I will post their 8 month pictures soon, I promise. A couple things I have been thankful for lately.... 1. A helpful husband. 2. Modern Medicine 3. The ability to be at home each and every day to see my babies grow. What are you thankful for?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Already Forgotten

I'm sitting here on the couch watching Blake bounce away in her rainforest jumperoo, Ashlyn Kay is using her Dora pencils (thanks to Bebe) to draw a rainbow, eating my Nutella and toast and drinking my oh so sacred coffee just thinking about what I hope to be thankful for today. I realize I didn't have time to write down what I was thankful for yesterday. One day in and I'm already slacking. This is not good. So today I am going to be doubly thankful. I would first like to be thankful for my memory and mind. The ability to be able to remember what I forgot yesterday is a gift. I know at some point in my life this might become a frustration and ability I do not possess. Its nice to be able to recall things quickly and retain them. Secondly I want to be thankful for family. I am going to share a story with you. My mother informed me yesterday that she had a cousin she was very close to as a child and teenager. She had down syndrome unlike her brothers and sisters. After the death of her parents a kind woman who had been taking care of her for a period of time just moved away with her. No one knew where she was including her siblings. If you are close to your family try and imagine having a sibling one day and then they disappearing the next. I just can't imagine. My grandmother is a pink lady at the hospital in Wetumpka and helps out with patients there. Through a random series of events and divine intervention my grandmother found herself in this one particular patients room. She noticed her name and it clicked. IT WAS HER! The long lost cousin. No one knows where she has been for 30 years, how she wound up back in wetumpka, and how she wound up at the hospital where my grandmother volunteers. It is a very amazing story. So I want to be thankful today for my family because I know where they all are. I can reach them at a moments notice. How comforting and wonderful!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New Project

Day 1: Today is a strange day to start this, but ya know no more procrastinating. I am going to start writing down 1 thing I am thankful for each day. Most of you know that 2010 was a busy and trying year and I clearly have a lot to be thankful for. I think sometimes I forget this though. I get caught up in the rat race that is my life and let small things get hold of me . Writing them down and publishing for all to see might allow me to be accountable for for being thankful for the tiny triumphs and grace I am given each day. What do you think? So with all that said I was woken up at 4:00 a.m. by three screaming, well one kicking, girls. Why I do not know. I was pretty sure that someone played a late April Fools joke on me and changed our clocks. No dice on that one. Jeff said we should pray for strength before we got out of bed. As I laughed I thought silently to myself "you know maybe I should". Typically on these type days things go down hill and fast. By the time daddy gets home the four of us look as if we have been run over by a mac truck that was spinning in a tornado. So praying for strength might be a good idea. Here we are at 4:48 p.m. all sitting peacefully in the den. Ashlyn Kay is watching Dora (shocking I know) and the twins are jumping in their jumperoos. Mommy even got to rest her oh so tired eyes for a bit. Let me tell you it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I know that being thankful for no drama and strength might seem trivial to some but as a stay at home mom of three little girls under the age of 3 this is like winning the lottery. Can I get a amen from my SAHM! So for Wednesday, April 6, 2011 I am thankful for strength and no drama....oh and strong coffee!

Monday, April 4, 2011


Dr. Lim called tonight at 8:15 p.m. That man never sleeps or rest I don't think. I am thankful and grateful for dedicated physicians. I was reading AK her bedtime stories so he talked to Jeff. He said the rise in numbers isn't alarming right now. He suggested to stick with the plan and recheck at her June appointment. That will be a very important check. He didn't speculate as to why they were elevated and told Jeff that we shouldn't worry. I feel relieved that he isn't concerned. Normally when doctor says that I am leary, but Dr. Lim is over cautious and would never put our Blake in harms way. So if he says no need to worry...then momma isn't going to worry. I think honestly that sometimes God puts tiny (checks) in our lives. Life lately is very hectic. We have gone back to our old ways of putting everything before the things that count. The tiny scare just reminded me to slow down and enjoy my children. Stop trying to be super parents! Obviously please keep her in your prayers. I am hoping this little moment wasn't something greater to come. Pray for low numbers in June.