Happy Holidays!

So I fell of the blogging bandwagon…again.  Maybe I’ll make that a resolution next year.  Anyways, in the spirit of the holidays here is our version of an annual Christmas card.

Wow, what a difference a year can make.  We’ll start from the beginning and make our way forward.

This year started off on a really difficult note and Christmas last year was one of the harder ones we’ve ever been through.  Early in December 2013 we found out we were expecting another addition to our family.  From the beginning we didn’t feel great about it and unfortunately our fears came true.  Just before Christmas we had a miscarriage and although we kind of expected it, it was still miserable.  For the record, having a daughter (or son) doesn’t make the situation any easier logistically or emotionally.  We love Nella with all our heart but if you have friends\family who are going through it…please do not say “at least you have your son\daughter”.  The process stings no matter what.

So the silver lining…the year could only get better.  Here’s the overview:

Nella really grew physically and emotionally.  She’s a crazy little lunatic in the best way.  A couple of firsts knocked off her list were:

  • Playing in a snow storm with our neighbors (thanks for coming over to sled down our hill!)
  • Going to a zoo and feeding the giraffes.
    • Side note: We also saw some elephants and up until that point I think she thought
      Apple Farm Visit

      Apple Farm Visit

      they were as big as the little figurines we have.  She was petrified when she saw how big they were.

  • Playing outside in the rain.
  • Hanging out with her grandparents (Pops, Tia, Grammy, Pop-Pop, GG,  KT and Grandma Barbara)
  • Going to the “big pool” again and again and again and again (you get the idea…:)).
  • Riding in a real life farm tractor in Mississippi.
  • Picking her first apples
  • Coming Soon: her first day without stomach medicine!!!  We hope to have her completely off before Christmas.
  • Understanding that “when I say it”…”you obey it!” (sometimes)

We love our little girl for all the challenges and joyous moments she provides.  She’s not perfect by any means, but she is perfect for our family.

Kate was able to get really involved on MOPS this year at church.  She was able to put all those years of consulting at Blackbaud to some good use by being the events coordinator


Touch-a-Truck Leaders

for the group.  She put a lot of effort, time and checklists into a Touch-A-Truck event that went on at our church and went off as smoothly as any event I’ve seen.  The event brought in people from around the church area and some of the attendees have started coming to our church.  We’ve also through the grapevine that some are already looking forward to the events next year, holla!  I think the best part of MOPS (and probably one of the best parts of her year) is the group of friends she has made because of the meetings and special events.  As a stay-at-home mom she really needs other adults she can see during the week and she has definitely met some great ladies and families throughout the year.   I would be remiss not to mention that we did have a very difficult moment in the year as it related to the Profumo\Cantlon side of the family and that was the passing of the chocolate loving Lenore Cantlon (Kate’s grandma).  She will forever be missed and we’ll always remember her through our daughter’s middle name.

I have had a pretty uneventful year in the big scheme of things.  Don’t get me wrong a lot of things have changed and will continue to change but most of the things I remember are related to daddy-daughter dates (every Saturday morning) and hanging out with my girls. For instance:

  • I love the time Kate and I spend together in the evenings after Nella goes down where we can just unwind and relax.
  • I can’t wait to open the door when I come home from work each day to hear the high pitched “DADDY!!!!!” and see my wife waiting with a hug.
  • I get updates throughout the day (sometimes multiple…:)) from Kate about highlights of what her and Nella are doing.  That always seems to brighten my attitude no matter how hard or easy that day is going.

These are all things I wouldn’t have dreamed of 3-5 years ago but they are now highlights

Playing in the snow.

Playing in the snow.

of my life and I. LOVE. IT.  So through all of the above and being more closely involved in church I’ve very much enjoyed my year.  Even though Time Warner is in the midst of being purchased by Comcast I have this sense of calm that everything is going to work out one way or another.  With my girls and Him by my side I have confidence we are going to be alright…even if that means I get my walking papers at some point next year.

There’s our 2014 in a nut shell.  If I were better about blogging you would have gotten more detail throughout the year but we have a 2 year old and she keeps our hands full.  We look forward to a 2015 that will bring about a bigger family, a bigger Nella and a bigger role at church.  We can’t wait for a bigger 2015!

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The Dyksterhouse is Expanding

Our Newest Little One

Our Newest Little One

Our family is growing!!!  It’s time to let everyone know and you can tell everybody that you know.  In early February we are expecting to welcome our second baby girl.  We just had our 18 week appointment and everything looked fantastic.  It even looked like we may not run into the same complication we had last time (fingers crossed).  If you’re curious about what we hope to avoid this time, see The Honest Truth or almost any other post around that time frame.

You may be thinking…18 weeks!?!?!? Why haven’t you said anything yet?  Honestly, the main reason is that we temper our excitement around pregnancies these days.  Don’t get me wrong, Kate and I can’t wait for little {INSERT NAME} to get here in February but if you know the history with our pregnancies they haven’t been the easiest.  I wrote about our first miscarriage in Reasons for Good Bourbon and that was a tough time.  If you read that statement you’ll notice that word first.  Unfortunately we had another miscarriage last Christmas.  Needless to say it was a Christmas we will always remember, but not for the best reasons.  So for those reasons we made a conscious decision to keep our baby (referred to as Baby-Beauxjangles) under wraps until we got to a point where we felt comfortable with health and future expectations.

So Back to the good news!  Baby girl #2….this means I’m in huge trouble.  There’s going to be way too much pink around the house and I’m going to have my work cut out in raising two girls that like to watch Sportscenter with their dad.  Once we found out the gender of our new addition one of the first things on our mind was to go ahead and decide on a name. We like family names here (see What’s In a Name) and after a little thought we decided on……………….Cora Marie Dyksterhouse.

  • Cora: Kate’s great-grandmother was named Corinne and we liked the sound of Cora which can be a nickname so we settled on that.
  • Marie: This name is all over the Dyksterhouse/Timmer family; Grandmother, neice and sister (and my mom is Mary).

Well there you have it.  A new one on the way and, as always, here a few more pictures of our Nella.

Park time!

Park time!

Go Deacs!

Go Deacs!

She played in the rain for about 30-45 minutes.  I think she liked it...

She played in the rain for about 30-45 minutes. I think she liked it…

Grammy Gram and Pop-Pop

Grammy Grams and Pop-Pop

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Big Girl Bed

And this was after Kate told her to start climbing down...

And this was after Kate told her to start climbing down…

It happened a little sooner than we planned but it happened none the less.  Nella has officially moved out of her crib into a big girl bed.  We weren’t really expecting to do this for another month or two but Nella had other plans…mainly by becoming a climbing monster.  Thankfully she didn’t really get out of her crib often but as you can see by the picture over there——————————> she doesn’t really have a fear of climbing stuff.  And I’ll be honest here, moving her was so much easier than expected.  She loves (LOVES) her new room and has done great with the transition.  I know a few of our friends will be doing in this in the near future as well, I hope it goes smoothly for you…we got lucky in this transition.

To get ready for it we also lucked out pretty big.  Right after we moved to Charlotte Kate and I bought bunk beds for our extra room for our neices and nephews when they would come visit.  With a little handy work by yours truly I was able to drill some new holes to make a complete side rail for the bed to keep our lovable lunatic inside her new sleeping abode.   Then all it took was a trip to Ikea to get a dresser, chair and rug and we were done. We even managed to make it out of Ikea without a meltdown (from Nella or Kate).  Ok, maybe that’s because we let Nella watch Curious George for the last 30-45 minutes. DON’T JUDGE US!

Nella loves riding the light rail

Nella loves riding the light rail

Outside of the big news of moving to the new room it’s been a lot of the same for us.  We (by this I mean I) are really pumped that football season here even though the first Wake game left a lot to be desired.  Here’s to hoping our offense can do something positive before the end of the year.  In the end though it doesn’t really matter…we’ll have a good time at the games regardless.  Especially when you consider the fact a 4 pack of ticket cost us $120 for the season.  That’s total too….comes out to 5 bucks a ticket per game.  Beat that Clempsun!  That’s about it for us right now.  Go Deacs!



You have to concentrate and look closely to find those pennies for the fountain.

Feeling right at home.

Feeling right at home.


Lovin her safety goggles

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The Dyksterhouse of Shopping

So it’s finally open.  After a few years of watching our subdivision fill up with new houses and being surrounded by lots of trees and fields our area hit its first milestone of growth. The 100 store Charlotte Premium Outlets opened on July 31st. This is potentially step one of a large expansion in Southwest Charlotte and this expansion is one of the reason why we bought where we did (my work being the main factor).  Here’s our pro’s and con’s list of our new neighbors.  We’ll start with the cons because you always gotta end on a high note (kind of like why you always have to make your last shot in basketball practice):


  • Traffic: Obviously more to do is going to bring more traffic.  We live on a street that is currently a main way out of the larger community of Berewick (there are 4 entrances\exits).  We are also located about 1/4 to 1/2 mile away from the
    Nella loves talking into the rain spouts because they echo.

    She loves talking into the rain spouts at the mall because they echo.

    stores.  What this means is that the first weekend the stores were open people started parking on our street because it was all they could find.  Thank you CMPD for cleaning that up quickly and blocking off our street.  In the future we do expect more cars on our street until they finish the main road leading into the neighborhood.
  • Riff-Raff: Being in a more undeveloped area usually means the people and cars coming through are residents or have some sort of connection.  With a few thousands shoppers coming in on the weekends that’s a lot of people with no connection to the neighborhood. Luckily we have a pretty involved community (there was an HOA meeting before the mall opened and a few hundred people showed up) which will help in keeping our neighborhood nice.
  • My Daughter: I now live a 10 minute walk away from a mall with all the stores one could want and I have an extremely cute daughter who loves going there (see Pros section).  It’s only a matter of time before she figures out we can buy things for her.
  • Bojangles: One just opened up about 1 mile from our house.  That’s bad news for the wallet since I basically drive right by it on the way into work every day.


  • Bojangles: One just opened up about 1 mile from our house. That’s great news for my stomach since I basically drive right by it on the way into work every day.
  • Ready to go Shopping!!!

    Ready to go Shopping!!!

    Stuff To Do: I should add “FOR FREE” here.  We’ve been to the outlets a few times since it’s opened and Nella absolutely loves it. She loves watching people, walking on the benches, and playing around the fountains. The great think about all of those activities is that they are free and a 10 minute walk from the house and…most importantly it wears her out.  By the time we get back she is exhausted and ready for her nap or bedtime routine.
  • It means more is on the way: From what I’ve heard the outlets is the first step of the area in growing up.  It’s not surprising since we are 15-20 minutes from up town, 5-10 minutes from the airport and 5 minutes from all the major interstates. The planned Berewick Town Center has started to clear ground so more restaurants and some local shops are on the way soon.  Here is what Pappas (the developer) has released recently regarding the town center.
  • Home Value (hopefully): Maybe most importantly I do believe this will help our home value.  With more stuff do within walking distance of the home I think our home price will go up.  It also helps that it’s around the corner but cannot be seen from our house.  We’ll see if this is true in the end and what they build.

Overall we’re happy to have the outlets open and have a little more around us.  There are cons as any area grows up but I think that’s to be expected as more people visit and drop in.  Hopefully the developers and city council continue to do what they can to keep people on the main roads and out of neighborhood to minimize the cons as much as possible.  Also, if you want to go to the outlet mall on the weekend…give us a call before you leave.   Parking is still crazy and you can probably park in our driveway and walk over.  Easy in-easy out and we get to see you!!

                       Nella soup for lunch

Nella soup for lunch!

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I get to check a new box when filling out random forms now, holla!. I know it’s been a while but it’s time to get back on the blogging horse, especially since both Kate and I are pretty much off the Facebook wagon (Facebook is not for mature 30 somethings like myself). So here’s an update on the Dyksterhouse:

1. Nella is a raving lunatic. Don’t get me wrong, we love her to pieces…but she is crazy with CoolKidan extra does of cray-cray. She’s very verbal (watch what you say around her!), pretty clumsy, and hitting her turrble twos. This means she’ll routinely surprise us with a properly placed short phrase like “Daddy’s funny!” At this point we’re thinking (or at least me) I’m the best parent ever! Shortly after said genius moment she will proceed to run into the side of the couch and fall faster than a world cup soccer player. While those are the funny moments we can all laugh at she has plenty of her hissy fit moments due to major catastrophes such as:
– Putting on a shirt she “doesn’t like”
– Giving her milk in cup A when she wants cup B
– Not letting her open the oven

2. Kate is a saint. For those that don’t know (or have forgotten) Kate stays at home with Nella during the day. The common non-working mom stereotype is one of glamour and rest. I can tell you from the exhaustion I see each evening that couldn’t be further from the truth. She loves it and we wouldn’t have it any other way for our family but she’s not exactly eating bon bons and watching Real Housewives. I am extremely blessed to have her want to stay home and raise Nella each day. Outside of that she is helping with MOPS (Mother of Pre-Schoolers) and planning a lot of their fundraising events. Who knew Blackbaud knowledge would be this helpful 3-4 years later?

Lawnmower3. Jimmy…still has a job? For now…the question mark pretty much says it all. You’ve probably heard about the Comcast\TWC merger (and may have some pretty strong feelings towards it if you are a customer) and right now there’s really no change in my day to day. The FCC is reviewing the merger and I believe that ends in mid to late January. What happens after that no one really knows and I’m just taking it in stride while attempting to make myself as valuable as possible on a day to day basis so if my position is eliminated…it might buy me some time as they off board all my work onto someone else. Other than work stuff I’ve very much enjoyed checking things off my list, helping with the youth group at church and now counting down the days until college football starts (Season tickets just came in!!!).

Finally, here’s what everyone really wants to see. Pictures of the most popular member of the family. Hopefully I can update this thing a little more frequently and if you need to contact either Kate or I please don’t message on Facebook….em
ail, text or call is best.

I heart purses

I heart purses

Cousins on the Farm

Cousins on the Farm


On Uncle's farm

On Uncle’s farm

Mellow Mushroom with a friend.

Mellow Mushroom with a friend.

Ice Cream Face!!

Ice Cream Face!!

Cheezy Smile

Cheezy Smile

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Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk

For anyone who has met or held Nella, you probably got a burp cloth put over your shoulder and a warning from Jimmy or I saying “she tends to spit up…a lot.” We buy shout in bulk and, and when Nella was younger, would go through a bottle in a week. Let’s just say that our poor baby girl has spent the majority of her life covered in…well..throw up.

Her GI issues began when she was in the NICU. She had reflux, but that is expected with a preemie and we were told that she was still gaining weight appropriately. One of our favorite nurses whispered in my ear that Nella would definitely require medication, but the neonatologists and nurse practitioners assured us it was all normal. Her reflux  tended to be much worse after her bottles of pumped milk that were fortified with a tiny bit of high calorie formula. We thought the formula may be upsetting her stomach, but after awhile it was hard to ascertain what it was…and well…we were so very uninformed at the time. (Sorry Nella!)

When Nella was 2 months old I tried eliminating dairy from my diet, but we didn’t see any difference in her mood or spitting up so we assumed it wasn’t dairy and requested a prescription for Zantac. Nella quickly (and continuously) outgrew her Zantac dosage so at 4 months we moved up to Prevacid and never looked back. She was certainly more comfortable when she was spitting up, but she was still a little fountain. We were told, though, that the purpose of the medicine was to prevent damage to the esophagus and make Nella more comfortable.

At 5.5 months we had some pretty “bad” spit ups and I tried eliminating dairy again. We saw a HUGE difference in Nella’s mood and sleeping patterns, so we decided that we would continue to avoid all dairy products and anything that contains dairy until Nella was a bit older.

At 9 months our pediatrician (who I adore, by the way) said I really need to get Nella on three solid meals a day. I was reluctant to put more food into her system, because, honestly,  it felt like the more food she ate the more food she threw up. Since most babies who just have reflux tend to do better with solid foods, we were referred to a GI specialist. Our specialist confirmed it was atypical for a baby to throw up whole pieces of food continuously…who knew?! Nella was diagnosed with delayed gastric emptying and within a month on new meds and a milk protein free probiotic she. wasn’t. throwing. up.

It was amazing. The angels were singing and we were leaving the house without 4 extra bibs and 10 burp cloths. I started doing a lot more playing and a lot less laundry. Amen.

At a year, our GI specialists recommended that I add a very little bit of dairy into my diet to see if Nella could tolerate the milk proteins that come through breast milk. Research shows that a majority of children who are milk protein intolerant will outgrow the intolerance by a year. I cautiously ate a peice of cheese, some pastries, and even took a few sips of a cappuccino. Sadly, Nella’s spitting up and gas and discomfort returned and our doctors recommended a visit to a peds allergist.

About a week ago we visited the peds allergist…with no idea what to expect. Our allergist really believed that Nella was simply “intolerant” to the milk proteins rather than “allergic.” A true allergy will cause an immune-system response and often the babies have experiences hives, wheezing, respiratory distress, etc. She administered a skin prick test and we all hoped for a negative result…much to her surprise and our dismay the skin test was positive. Our doctor wasn’t convinced and said that the skin prick tests have a high false positive rate, so we were sent to the lab for a blood draw….and again we received a positive result. The blood work came back with a level of .48 and anything over .1 is considered an “allergy.” However, the allergy levels in the blood tests can go up to 100…so it’s still pretty low.

We were all left scratching our heads…is she allergic? Will I ever have to administer this epipen? What will happen if she picks up her friend’s sippy cup and starts to drink it? What will happen if the nursery accidentally gives her a snack with milk?

At our doctors’ (yup…all three…I called them all) recommendation we’re going to go in next week to administer an oral food challenge. This means that we will give Nella 6-8 oz. of whole cow’s milk or yogurt…eek. They will start with a drop and slowly work their way up to a more significant dose. Her vitals will be closely monitored in the allergist office for 2 – 3 hours after the test begins. Sounds fun right? Don’t get toooo jealous.

It’s certainly unnerving giving Nella the exact item that I’ve been avoiding with such vigilance for over 7 months (who knew that Tostitos Hint of Lime chips contain dairy?!). I’m pretty convinced her stomach isn’t going to handle the milk proteins well, but we’re praying that we can rule out a life threatening allergy. That’s the whole point of the exercise since her test results and history don’t really match up…and I’d rather test this out with trained medical professionals and next door to the children’s hospital.

Please be praying that the oral challenge goes well and that Nella will actually ingest the cow’s milk or yogurt and tolerate the milk proteins. Please pray that she will not have a severe allergic reaction. Please pray that I will remain calm for my daughter.

If you made it through this novella…congrats. Here’s some cute pictures of Nella as a reward.


Sweet Face

Playing with her favorite toy!

Playing with her favorite toy!

Our Little Pumpkin

Our Little Pumpkin



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Go Deacs!

It’s been a while since we’ve put anything on here and that needs to change.  There was a landmark occasion in our family in the past week.  If it weren’t for the title you’d probably be thinking one of the following:

  • Nella said “I love you” to her parents
  • Nella is going to have a sibling
  • Jimmy hit with 170lb mark
  • Kate finally understands how good a mom she is

Well none of the above is true.  An accomplishment of larger significance took place.  Nella went to her first Wake Forest game!  Even more surprising….we won!  Wake Forest holds a very dear place in our hearts and we were very excited to bring Nella up for a game and a quick tour of campus.  Although everything didn’t go quite as planned (thank you Dixie Classic Fair and Parent’s weekend) we had a great time and more importantly Nella seemed to enjoy herself.  At the very least she didn’t break down and lose it.  Some highlights of the trip:

  • Walking around campus – We just missed the leaves changing but it was nice to walk around the quad and see some of the new buildings.  A lot has changed in the 2 years since we’ve been on campus.
  • Bookstore – The deacon shop was a bust (where were the cheerleading outfits?!!?!) but we were able to pick up a little WF camping chair for Nella and a big blanket for the hill. Both of which were more expensive than they should have been.  Oh well.

    Wake Hill

    Livin’ the Dream during the 3rd quarter

  • Tailgating – Didn’t go super awesome because it took a while to park.  We still got some beer and chicken in.  Don’t worry DSS, Nella had neither.  We were also able to catch up with some friends from Charleston for a little bit (we were able to past the fact that Mrs. Hall is an NC State alum).
  • The game – The hill was a new experience.  In the stands you watching a football game.  On the hill you’re more watching an event (and trying to keep track of your daughter).  It was definitely a good time though.
  • The 3rd Quarter – Most of which was spent like this       —————————————>

We left a little early and listened to the Deacs win in the car so we didn’t get home too late and Nella was a trooper the whole way.  We can’t wait to do it again in November!


Kate and Nella on the Quad

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