Hi! We're the Normans and welcome to our nest. This is where we'll post our adventures, mishaps, and thoughts.

It’s been a few months since our last post. We had an almost month long visit back to Minnesota where we got to see lots of family and friends. Boy was it great to be back in the land of 10,000 lakes! However, after 3.5 weeks of being on the road with a baby and a dog, we were ready to come home. It’s weird to think of here as home, but here we are!

Ally is 10 months old and crawling around and getting into all kinds of things. She hasn’t quite figured out how to open things, but she finds the TINIEST little bits in the carpet and then eats them. So it’s great incentive to vacuum regularly. **Sigh**

Maggie just went through her own trial. I think I’ll make that a second post soon. Poor little puppy dog. She’s OK now though, all safe and sound!

We are knee deep into our table building project. Yes, Nick and I decided to build a table. Nick actually is doing the building and sanding and then I’ll do the painting and staining. So far, it looks WONDERFUL. All for $150. The DIY posts of “build a table for under $50” are lies. But, $150 is definitely better than the $1,000 price tag that was on the table I had my eye on.

Nick will probably want to build all kinds of things, so watch out world, here he comes with his Kreg jig in tow!

I’m still organizing, cleaning, re-organizing, re-cleaning and trying to get us truly settled. It’s difficult because every time I clear an area, it seems that another project just pops up. So far, we’ve build a fence, re-insulated the attic and crawlspace, had a window replaced and we’ve owned this house for 5 months. Yuck. Hopefully the projects will be done soon!

 

 

This year, we did not make it home for Thanksgiving and I knew that I had to prepare a feast even though it was just 2.5 of us. The task was daunting. Even though I wanted to preserve tradition, I felt like I had to put my own spin on things.  So I did an herb roasted turkey, stuffed with a combination of 3 stuffing recipes, mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, made from scratch green bean casserole and a made from scratch pumpkin pie (crust and all!).

We decided to skip rolls entirely, and Nick prefers canned cranberries…like the kind where you can see the rings from the can. I didn’t even know that existed until I met him.

Made from scratch, crust to toppings!

Made from scratch, crust to toppings!

Everything was set, our pie turned out great.  We woke up Thanksgiving morning ready to rumble. Except the turkey was still partially frozen. AHH! 3 FaceTime calls with my mom later, our turkey was thawed and in the oven. It turns out, Thanksgiving is an exhausting day filled with carefully timed moments of kitchen panic and chaos. And never ending cleaning. All to sit down and stuff your faces for 20 minutes and then more cleaning.

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Ally, before she knew what pie was.

A BIG THANKS TO EVERY WOMAN WHO HAS EVER COOKED A THANKSGIVING MEAL!

Ally loved pumpkin pie the most. This was the first time she has ever really cried because we took something away. Uh-oh. I think we created a monster.

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Ally, after she’d tasted the sweet, sweet taste of pumpkin pie

She’s also getting her first tooth. While it hasn’t yet quite popped through, it’s definitely there and we expect to see it in a few days. That is, if she will let us get close enough to her mouth to see.

We’re still struggling with eczema on her face, especially now that the dry winter weather is upon us. I’m putting Eucerine on her 3 times a day but she still scratches her face at night. It looks like we beat her. Or we have a vicious cat. Any suggestions?

We hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving with your family and friends!

I realize it’s been awhile since our last update. We’ll try to do better!

We’re now in our new home in PA. I can’t say we’re moved in and unpacked and settled, but our belongings are indeed within the walls of a home. We’re making progress, although it’s been difficult with a baby and a dog and no fence. family_fall_2016

Fence is being installed in a few weeks, but we think teeth are on the move with Ally. She also has discovered volume when it comes to making sounds with her mouth so that’s a lot of fun. It’s a good thing Nick sells ear plugs for a living.

Nick has settled into his job for the most part.  Balancing home life and work life with two parents home officing has been a challenge to say the least, but we’re figuring it out.

We bought a smaller home here and while that comes with its own set of blessings we are finding the need to be creative with storage. You’ll see some of our solutions as we go along and we’ll post our progress. I do love a good purge and we’ve already dropped a carload of stuff to the Goodwill.

We did purchase a new Leesa mattress and I have to say, it’s amazing. The cost, the quality, the mattress itself all made it well worth the leap of faith to buy a mattress off the internet. If you need a good mattress, look no further than the Leesa. I don’t know how I spent my entire pregnancy without it. I woke up this morning and aside from a post election day headache, I felt great! 

Our next projects include finishing the unpacking, proper curtain hanging (tip- 3M hooks do NOT work well as a permanent solution), organizing the storage unit, and then adding some character to this house! Stay tuned…

Lots has happened since our last post. Ally was finally diagnosed with a mucocele in her mouth, a blocked saliva gland.  It eventually got so inflamed and swollen that we saw it and immediately took her in.  After being examined by 2 doctors, she was referred to Children’s Hospital here in St. Paul. 2 minutes into our visit, we had our answer.  We gave it 2 weeks to see if it would resolve on its own and then scheduled her for out patient surgery.  On August 1, Ally underwent a 20 minute procedure and BAM! 5 minutes after coming out of recovery she resumed normal eating. What a huge relief! It’s not reflux, it’s not a milk allergy, she’s totally normal. She’s eating normal formula and just moved to a big girl 4 hour schedule. We sure do love our Ally bear.

In other news, Nick has been given a promotion and a relocation to central Pennsylvania.  We are excited for what our future holds.  We will most likely be relocating within a month. Our house is on the market and we’re praying it sells soon. We’ve never sold a house before and out patience is wearing thin but we remain hopeful, optimistic, and prayerful.

Ally is weighing in at 17 pounds and is 27 inches tall. That puts her in the 95th percentile. She is about to start solid food and we are looking forward to the fun and messy time that will be. We’ve purchased spoons, a high chair and rice cereal and we’ll keep you posted on what happens next!

Our struggle continues, but we went to see a different doctor.  This one really heard us and gave us a plan of action. We’re glad that we kept seeing different ones.  She diagnosed Ally with severe acid reflux and a Milk Soy Protein Intolerance or MSPI.  This is not very common, it occurs in about 3-4% of infants. Leave it to ours to be extraordinary.

She put Ally on nutramigen, which is a formula that tastes absolutely horrible. Poor little Ally, like her Zantac wasn’t disgusting enough. We can’t wait for her to be on solid foods so she can stop the madness!

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Most children grow out of this intolerance enough to have dairy products back in their life, but probably will never be chugging a bottle of straight cow’s milk.

So far, she’s not been screaming during feeding.  We can tell she doesn’t care for the taste of the new formula but she drinks it well enough.  The doctor says she will get used to the taste and if it is MSPI we will see a drastic feeding difference in a few days.

Ally remains a happy, well developing child and is laughing and making all kinds of fun noises. She’s excited for Grandma Wilson’s visit this week!

 

 

We thought the formula switch solved things, but alas, things worsened. Ally would cry, scream and arch her back during every feeding.  We finally went to the doctor who diagnosed severe acid reflux and prescribed zantac.  The zantac doesn’t seem to be working, although it’s only been a few days.  I guess it can take up to a week to see if there is a change.

When not eating, Ally is a pretty happy baby.  She sleeps well, plays well, doesn’t fuss or cry.  Occasionally she’ll start crying out like she’s in pain but we now know that’s the reflux.

Silent reflux is when you have very few symptoms because the baby is swallowing not spitting it out. So the acid burns on the way up and on the way back down- double the pain. Our sweet little baby just toughed it out though except when we try to feed her.

In this photo, she’s wearing an outfit that was given to ME from Grandma Wilson (Myrt) when I was a baby! Unfortunately Ally is huge and this doesn’t fit her that well.  So the positive side to all this is that other than the difficulty eating, she IS eating and growing and developing at a normal rate. Pray for us that God gives us patience and calm and heals little Ally’s throat and tummy.  Some babies grow out of this by 3-4 months, some have it until they are on solid food only and no bottles. We’re hoping it’s soon!

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September 3, 2013

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