Wednesday, December 26, 2007

All done

It's always so sad when it's all over...
...so to cheer myself up I thought I'd add some snapshots of our Christmas festivities!

CHRISTMAS EVE
Gus was exhausted after playing baby Jesus at church....so he went to bed right away.
Then Scott and I could enjoy our Christmas Eve dinner....Scott chose a hotdog on a hamburger bun and some Red Hot Ripplets:)
Then it was off to bed for us too.
CHRISTMAS MORNING


CHRISTMAS AFTERNOON

( Apparently, our house is cold....)


CHRISTMAS EVENING the end.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We were asked to imitate the Holy Family at church this evening. That, coupled with watching the Nativity Story (you should rent it) and having a baby during this Christmas season has really caused me (Scott) to think on Jesus' humanity more; what life must have been like for Him while He was an infant. Amazing that the God of the Universe would allow Himself to come to earth in such a state. As a result, we've really been wondering, as a family, how/if we should celebrate Christmas differently so that we don't lose sight of the true meaning of what we commemorate. It's so easy for me to get wrapped up in the presents and I don't want that to be what the day is all about. More on that later, as we try to figure things out. Anway, hope you all have a Merry Christmas! Love, the "Holy" Family.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Saturday

A quick peek at a very busy day at the Noll household!

First thing in the morning, Scott took our toilet apart and then put it back together....and now it works like a charm!


In the afternoon, our friends Hank and Luke came by to visit and hang out with the Gus Man.

While the boys took care of Gus, I made a cranberry apple pie (and I could eat it too!)

That night we all headed to a Christmas party at Niedlov's Breadworks. Gus made sure to sport his favorite holiday outfit and his new spiked hair style, ala David Beckham.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

4 months (if you count it by weeks)

Wow...I never thought I would actually be the mother of a 4 month old, but here I am! Gus is really growing and starting to explore his world even more. He has "mastered" the art of the grab, if swiping at everything counts, as well as pulling hair!! No seriously, he can now grab a toy held out to him and is terrorizing the hanging animals of his play gym.


He also learned just this past Sunday how to roll over-stomach to back! He did it first while watching Scott move across the room. I thought it might have been a fluke, since he didn't even try to do it again at all that day. But then he made up for it by rolling over and waking up twice that night!!

He is continuing to struggle with his allergy issues, and we have another appointment on Monday. Please, pray for progress towards healing!


We are having a great time getting ready for Christmas: decorations are up and so is the tree (although all it has are lights right now!) and I even made one batch of Christmas cookies yesterday! Gus is getting ready too:)


OK, that's all for now. Everyone sleep tight!



Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ode To A Thumb

Oh my thumb, oh my thumb, it's a beautiful thing.

Of its many merits I really must sing.


My wrist, or whole fist, used to be fine,

but now I've decided my thumb is divine.


My old, boring paci now can be scratched,

because I have found that my thumb is attached!


This is one skill my Mom says I can keep,

'cause it comes in so handy when I'm falling asleep.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Substitution success!!

Well, I have a victory to report! I have successfully made two excellent (if I do say so myself) meals sticking to my new dietary guidelines. And Scott even ate them both and liked them! My favorite was a vegetarian chili and cornbread. For anyone in the same boat, I thought I'd share the recipes....

Vegetarian Chili (from the Healthy College Cookbook--thanks, Mom!)

Olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 green peppers, diced
2 14.5 oz cans stewed whole tomatoes
2 15 oz cans black beans
1 16 oz can cooked corn
1 15 oz can kidney beans
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
2 fresh tomatoes, diced
2 cups shredded cheddar (for those blessed people who can eat it!)

1. In a large pot, saute onions and peppers in olive oil over medium heat, until they just begin to brown.
2. Add the canned ingredients, including the liquid from the cans, as well as the spices to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add tomatoes and cheese if desired.

It's soooo easy and quick and yummy and makes a ton! FYI-it's fairly spicy so I put some in a separate bowl and added another can of tomatoes to it to cut down on the kick. Of course, Scott likes it in the original form:)

Wheat, Dairy, Egg and Soy-free Cornbread (adapted from Betty Crocker)

1 cup rice milk (replaces cow's milk)
1/4 cup coconut oil (replaces butter)
3 tbsps of unsweetened applesauce (replaces 1 egg)
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1 cup gluten free flour mix, which includes cool stuff like potato starch and sorghum flour (replaces all purpose flour)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 400. Grease 8 x 8 baking dish with coconut oil.

2. Mix all ingredients and pour into dish.

3. Cook for 20-25 minutes.

It turned out great, I thought. The consistency is a lot more dense, but the flavor is wonderful!

And I'm happy to report that Gus seems to be doing much better....he's happy, losing most of his symptoms, is now taking his formula without such a fuss twice a day, and is still nursing well. Plus, he has put himself to sleep without any help from me for his last two naps in a row!! God has been good as always.

God...is the blessed controller of all things,
the King over all kings and the master of all masters.
1 Timothy 6:15

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Updates

Happy Late Thanksgiving to everybody!!
Gus sporting his new Thanksgiving outfit from Oma. He spit up on it within a minute. Sorry, Oma!

Here are some updates from "our neck of the woods" (I belive I may have been watching a little too much of Al Roker on the Today show!):

We had our traditional fall party again this year, complete with Pumpkin Curry Soup as usual (no sense letting the addition of the little man change that great tradition!). We had a wonderful time relaxing with some great people. In fact, we have been blessed with so many new friends that we actually had 2 fall parties to accomodate everyone!


Gus has been learning all sorts of exciting new skills these past few days. It is just absolutely amazing to me to watch him grow--how does his brain grasp all these new concepts and abilities?? God the Creator of new life becomes more awesome to me with each passing week! Lately Gus has continued to be fascinated with his hands-staring at them, sucking on them and now he has started trying to swat at stuff and hold things too. It's so funny to watch him get so excited with himself when he actually makes contact! He really enjoys his cardinal (Go Cards!) and yesterday he focused on, then reached out for and finally held his soccer ball rattle (Thanks Tina C!) for the first time. He got really quiet and had to concentrate to get his hands to go where he wanted them to, but he finally succeeded! He also has been enjoying hanging out with his own reflection in the mirror:) He gets so excited and smiles and then sometimes gets shy too!


We went back to the pediatrician yesterday to talk about Gus' food allergy issues. It had been getting worse over the past few days. On Tuesday, they told me to stop eating wheat and soy in addition to dairy and to give Gus two bottles of a special formula per day to see if we can get him to start healing up. By yesterday morning, it seemed we had made some improvements. Our doctor said that we could continue this current course for another week and then re-evaluate. If he is still having issues, we will need to switch to all formula for two weeks to allow his colon time to heal and then we would re-introduce breastfeeding and see how it goes.

Needless to say, this has been very hard on me emotionally. Even though in my head I know it isn't true, I still sometimes feel like Gus is allergic to me personally! It feels a little bit like a rejection of me and that's hard. Sometimes I fall into a sort of pit of despair: feeling like this whole baby thing has been so hard and definitely hasn't always been the beautiful, happy thing you always hope it will be. I start to feel pretty negative and whoa is me.....especially as I search for "safe" meals and snacks for me to eat. I've also tried to cut out all nuts as well, just in case. So I feel hungry and unsatisfied alot. It's amazing how comforting fatty and high carb foods are!

So I decided to put together a list of the postives to help me climb out of the pit I keep digging for myself:


1. Gus is happy and content and doesn't seem bothered AT ALL by all of this.

2. I'm going to lose A LOT of my pregnancy weight before this is all over-it's like the perfect diet because I am really motivated to stick to it!

3. I am learning a lot about healthy alternative eating that I'm sure I can continue to use in the future.

4. Gus WILL grow up someday and I'll be able to eat whatever I want again.

5. My husband has been a wonderful source of stability--reminding me that God commands us not to worry and that he loves Gus even more than we do and is watching over all of this.

So....that's our update! If anyone has any good dairy, wheat, soy and nut free recipes, be sure to send them our way!! And if you think of it, keep little Gus in your prayers....we'll keep you posted as things progress.



The first of many rides!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Recommended Reading

Once Gus and I got the hang of nursing, I found I had lots of time to read! So I just thought I'd give a quick list to anyone who is interested of the books I've finished so far:

1. Snow Falling On Cedars
2. Digging To America
3. the last Harry Potter
4. The Bourne Identity

I'm working on Breathing Lessons now and up next will be The Lovely Bones and possibly more of the Bourne series. Maybe I'll even be brave enough to tackle Beowulf--I hear there's a movie version coming out soon!

Happy reading!

Friday, November 9, 2007

3 MONTHS!!

Oh...the changes we've seen!!

From this: To this:
....in just three short months!

It's been amazing and wonderful to watch our baby boy grow and learn.
His newest developments:

Finding his voice. In this picture, we caught him in one of those moods when he yells happily.

Discovering his arms and hands. Lately he's just been holding his arm out straight and staring at it. He just now discovered his left arm, so we're guessing he's definitely going to be a "righty."

In other news:

NUMBER 1...THE GOWN: Just wanted to add some interesting tidbits about the gown that Gus wore for his baptism (I know this is long overdue!!). It was worn by my (Amy's) grandfather (Gus' great-grandfather!!) as well as my brother (Gus' Uncle Jim, aka "The Dude"). It is absolutely beautiful, and I was really proud of the fact that I washed and pressed it and didn't ruin it before the big day!! Thanks again, Grandpa and Granny, for letting us use it!! Thanks again, Gus V, for not pooping or spitting up on it!


NUMBER 2...THE NOSE: Scott has recently decided to try and figure out what has been causing his extreme morning congestion and general stuffiness. He went to an allergist and discovered that he is, unfortunately, allergic to our cats (and to dogs and some cockroach proteins...who knew?). So he has some medicine to try and I've been washing and dusting and vaccuuming like a good little wife to try and cut down on the cat protein that sticks to their fur/dander and makes him stuffy. The bedroom has also been declared off limits to the cats. (I'm afraid they really feel neglected now!) In order to avoid the medicine side of the solution, he also had surgery Thursday to make the turbinates in his nose smaller, hopefully reducing the amount of drainage and improving air flow. He is recovering well and looking pretty cool!

Two peas in a pod: Gus V staring off at something unknown...as usual; Gus IV staring off in a pain pill-induced daze.

NUMBER 3...WHAT IS IT?: We went to the pediatrician this week and she confirmed that Gus has some sort of food sensitivity (something I had long been suspecting). So we are on the hunt to figure out what it is!! I'm off all dairy for the next 2 weeks and if that doesn't help, we'll try wheat, peanuts, other nuts, soy and who knows what else. We'll keep you posted!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Was a Cow

Gus was a cow for Halloween. Here is a recap of the evening's events:
.
Unsure of whether or not he wanted to go out in public dressed as a cow.
.
Feeling empowered after a talk with Amy.
.
Hitting the streets in search of candy.
.
Completely and totally out after stopping at four select houses.
.
Still asleep after going up the mountain to see two other sets of friends.
.

Yep, still asleep...costume and all. If fact, we put him down in it.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Baptism Weekend

More on this later, but Gus was baptized this past weekend. We had 15 family members in from out of town and it was a joy to see them all. Gus did well during the actual event. No crying. No pooping. No other anti-social behavior. In fact, he was a gem all weekend. I'm sure everyone was wondering what we had been struggling with after seeing how perfect he was. Way to go, Gus!


Pastor Cal and Gus



The Noll side of the family

Gus Jr., Gus III, Gus IV and Gus V

The Deterding side of the family