Sunday, December 11, 2011

Thanksgiving in Minnesota

It's taken me awhile to get to writing this post, but I want to make sure I didn't skip it. For once, I actually took some photos when we were in Minnesota for Thanksgiving...I was making a conscious effort!

On the way down, we stopped and had a quick visit with the Sherman's in Eau Claire. Willow got to see her NICU roommate, Ellen, and her big sister Audrey, who was a very good mommy-figure to Willow. :)

First we went to the Jenson's for Turkey Day on Thursday. It was great to see all the fam. I think Willow had the most fun playing with Josh's cousin Katie (who is a pediatric pharmacist, a great job for her because she is amazing with kids) but unfortunately I didn't get any decent pictures of those two.

Here's Willow reading with auntie Janna:

And helping Grandpa Jack cook:

Snuggling with Great Grandma Eva:

With her second cousin Natalie:

Walking in the yard with Grandma Jean. Thanksgiving day was unseasonably warm - I think about 60 degrees.

The day after Thanksgiving, before we had to leave, Willow helped Grandma and Grandpa start decorating their Christmas tree:

Then we left and headed over to western Minnesota for a Thanksgiving dinner with my family on Saturday. We stayed at my extremely hospitable aunt Lisa and uncle Scott's place. They wined and dined us in style, as usual, and Willow had a great time playing with cousin Ellen and her dollhouses.

I guess I didn't get as many photos of this part of the trip. Still, it was a lot of fun, despite Willow having a bit of a hard time at the dinner at my uncle Dave's and aunt Tracey's in Fergus Falls. She hadn't had a nap, then fell asleep, then was woken up, and it just wasn't a good combination and she was a very cranky girl. (She's normally a happy kid, family, I promise!). The one photo I have to post is this one, because I crack up every time I look at it, I was trying to get a photo of Willow, but Dave and Tracey's pug Lucy decided she wanted to investigate and I ended up getting a close-up of her instead.

It was a good trip, but exhausting with all the driving. I am not sure if we'll keep doing both places for Thanksgiving. We decided it would've been (a lot) more relaxing if we just went to one place and stayed put.

An update on Willow's health: the tummyaches and yucky poop continue, unfortunately. We brought her to a pediatrician for a second opinion. That doctor ran a bunch more tests, both on her blood and her poop. Everything came back normal, basically. She suggested we do another dairy-free trial, though for longer this time (we tried it once before for like 4 days). So on Tuesday it'll be 2 weeks of dairy-free, and I guess we really haven't noticed much difference. Dairy-free is easier than gluten-free, but not by much. Cheese was a huge part of Willow's (and our) diet before. Again there's the stress of making sure she gets enough calories. he really is a good eater, but she's just so skinny. We also have made an appointment with a pediatric gastroenterologist in Wausau, in January. I sort of feel like that is too long to wait...I want to get this figured out!

Willow also had an appointment last week with the pediatric dentist in Marquette. What a cool place that is, and the dentist and her staff were so nice. So it turns out, Willow has sort of a line across her teeth where the enamel is rough, and it's a little discolored. The dentist said the discoloration was partly due to her iron vitamins, and she was actually able to polish most of it off. But the line and the roughness is due to Willow's prematurity. The dentist compared it to how when you chop down a tree, you can look back on the rings and see where a forest fire 100 years ago interrupted the growth of the tree. So when Willow's teeth were developing, her birth was the traumatic incident (the forest fire) that interfered with that. I guess it could've even affected her permanent teeth, since they are already being formed when you are born (crazy, huh?). We won't know that until they come out. But it's not too big a deal; we just have to be extra-vigilant about Willow's dental hygiene, because the rough enamel can collect food and plaque really easily.

Willow is quite the little lover these days. A favorite saying is "awwww, I like mama" (or dada, or Yaya, or a toy, or an earthworm). While hugging you tight. It's pretty darn cute. Here are some other recent photos.

Linda and her friend Jess took Willow to see her first movie in the theater - "Happy Feet 2"

Linda and Willow made this fort. Willow's been spending a lot of time in it. Here she is sampling some soup she made.

And here she is playing in the snow.

Who knows if I'll have time to blog again before Christmas. If not, hope it is merry!