Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Little Fireball

The last month and a half have really flown by. Riley's walking and even running all over the place, and really developing a personality. And an attitude as well... She's figured out how to stomp and whine to get her way, throwing mini temper tantrums. At the same time she shows more joy and positive emotion as well. Nothing is more rewarding then coming home from a long day's work and having a fiery little 2 foot tall redhead come running at you with her arms up and a big smile on her face saying "dadadadada".

She loves to swing on the back deck, and ride in her car down the driveway (see video below). She loves to flip through books and play with any toy that plays music - which usually results in her dancing.

Pam is now 35 weeks with "Bubba" (no, we still don't have a name yet). Things have been going great, and she is looking more and more pregnant every day. Its a whole new experience for us since she never made it even close to this far with Riley. Starting to enter the homestretch, and getting excited to meet our little boy.

In the past few months, Riley has walked a 5k with Mommy for the Race for the Cure, played at the park with Grandma Peggy, and attended her Aunt Laura's wedding. There are lots of great pictures in the "Fall 2010" album to the right, but here are a few of the highlights:

This has become a common occurrence in our house...they like napping together.

Running around like a crazy girl in her new K-State cheerleader outfit.

Riley and Baxter, September 2010

Riley and Grandma at the park...love that smile

Having fun crawling on the jungle gym.

She has fallen in love with this car...loves zooming down the driveway (see video below) and going on walks in this instead of the stroller.

Riley and Baxter, October 2010

Grandma and Riley at Laura's wedding.

Mommy, Daddy, and Riley and Laura's wedding

And here's a video of her zooming down the driveway in her car. She loves to do this over and over every evening. Guess we'll enjoy the nice weather before it turns cold...

Monday, September 6, 2010


Well like I showed in that last brief post, Riley is now officially walking. And in just a few short days after those first steps, she was going farther and faster and is now practically running all around the house. I guess she finally hit the "toddler" stage. Its a lot of fun watching her get into everything and explore the world around her, but also a ton of work! She's blabbering a lot, but hardly saying much other than "dada", "bababa", and "ooooohhh". She's sprouted two very sharp teeth on the bottom, and we think she is working on a few more.

Baby boy is still doing great too. We hit the 28 week mark this week, which puts us past the point where little Riley jumped out early. So far so good still with this one. Pam says he's starting to move around and kick a lot, but I've yet to feel him from the outside. Hopefully soon, since I never did feel Riley kick at all. We're kicking around a handful of names, but knowing us we'll probably wait til the very last minute to decide.

Riley had her 15 month appointment just last week. She weighed 17lb 2oz and was 28 1/2" long. This means she gained over 2 lbs since her 1 year appt and is twice as long as when she was born! Weight gain is still our main priority with her, and just about the only thing she is behind on, along with feeding and speech. A lot of that all goes back to being inhibated for 2 months. She is catching up though, starting to eat more and more solids (up to 3 times a day now), and down to only a few bottles. Hasn't caught on to the "sippy cup" thing yet, but getting there. We still have the therapists stopping by once or twice a month, but based on what they are saying she's really progressing well. We really want to get her off the bottle before #2 shows up.

Not a whole lot else to tell from this past month. The pool is officially closed for the year, so looks like we'll be done with swimming. Can't wait til next year when we'll be carting 2 kids' worth of stuff. Looking forward to a busy fall, a whole new adventure around Thanksgiving and then Christmas right around the corner. Holy cow, time flies...

Here's a few pics from the last few weeks...don't forget to check the photo album links to the right, I usually add pictures almost every week.

Pretty girl ready for church

She loves her baths...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Walking the Line

Don't have time for a full update, but had to get this video out for everyone to see (especially Grandma!) Although Riley has been "walking" for a week or two now, most of it has been a step or two before falling into the couch, our arms, etc. Tonight we got her to go about 5 or 6 feet, 13 steps in all. Below is a video. She's growing up so quickly!!!

Also, here's our monthly installment of the "Riley and Baxter" photo...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

So far, So good...

Well we've made it! Yesterday, Pam hit the 24 week mark with "Bubba". It was at that point that her water broke with Riley. Outside of a little heartburn, she's been feeling fine, but then again was feeling great with Riley too. Thursday is her 24-week appointment with Dr. Depew, which she never made it to with Riley. Let's just hope this trend continues and she makes it all the way through this one. He's been kicking a lot lately, and overall is a lot more active than Riley ever was. Haven't been able to feel anything from the outside yet, but she says she can feel it all the time. We're kicking around a few names but probably won't decide for quite awhile. Praying we have 16 more weeks to think it over!

Not much going on the past few week's in Riley's world. Been swimming a lot (in a few different pools), and went to the zoo recently as well. She's getting really close to walking but has yet to take those life-changing first steps. She walks along the table and couch barely holding on, and can stand unsupported for up to 10 seconds or so. She'll even take a step or two towards something and "falls" into it. She jabbers a lot, mostly just "oooooh", "aaaaaahhhh", "babababa", and occasionally "dadadadada". Don't think she's relating the "dada" to me yet, but getting close.

The rest of my side of the family spent last week on vacation in Manitou Springs. I couldn't get out of work, so we debated sending Pam and Riley along with them, but in the end the fear of something happening so far from home as she was nearing that 24-week mark kept them home with me. The doctor was a little afraid of the altitude and she wouldn't have been able to do any of the hiking, rafting, etc. that they had planned. Oh well, maybe next year.

And it looks like we've started a trend. In the past few weeks we've had 4 other friends announce they are pregnant. Looks like Bubba will have a few playmates his age as well! Its reminding me of my neighborhood growing up, with tons of kids around the same age. It will be a lot of fun watching all these rugrats grow up together.

Here's a handful of pictures from the past few weeks. As always, check out the "Summer 2010" album link to the right to see even more.

Riley and Daddy

Pam and Riley have been playing in her little pool a few times a week. Feels great in the hot afternoon sun!

Family photo at the zoo (with Gary the Gorilla)

She's also started taking to a pacifier finally. She never could keep it in her mouth before, but now crawls all over the place sucking on it. I think it helps with her teething.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I know its been forever since I last posted, so I apologize to all those who have been checking in for the last month. It seems like traffic is down so don't know how many of you are even keeping up with this site anymore. If you want me to post more often, please send me an email to j_skach@hotmail.com - I am curious how many people even read this anymore. It was a great tool while Riley was in the hospital, but just hard to find time anymore...

Since Riley's birthday, she's gotten very mobile. Isn't quite walking yet, but she can crawl across a room in record time. She's also pulling up on things, walking along the edge of the coffee table, etc. Starting to eat a lot more solid foods, but still bottling a lot. About the time of her birthday Pam stopped pumping and has since ran out of milk, so her bottles are completely formula now. Hard to believe we actually went through all that milk! She's starting to "talk" a little, kind of saying "DaDa" but not really (wishful thinking on my part). Loves making kissy faces, and has starting saying "Oh" a lot. She is getting into that "fun stage" where we can get her on little giggle fits. She loves to play on the floor and roll around with us. We've been going to the pool a lot, and she loves it most of the time. Also loves going on walks. The developmental specialists (OT/PT and speech therapist) still come by a few times a month to work with her. Physically, she is pretty much all caught up. Her eating and speech are still a little behind, but that will likely take until about 2 years old to catch up. And of course her hair is still red - very red. We can't go out in public or meet anyone new without them saying "Oh my, where did that red hair come from?" It's almost laughable at this point because we hear it so much.

Today we received more great news. Pam had her sonogram for baby #2 today - found out it is a boy!!! Of course we would have been just as happy with a girl, but we (me especially) were really hoping for a boy. So far, everything looks really good and healthy - but then again it did with Riley as well. She's still measuring almost 21 weeks, putting us to about Nov 29th for a due date. Since we will likely schedule a c-section, we are hoping to have the baby the week before Thanksgiving - to keep from getting too close to due date, and so Pam doesn't have to share her birthday (Nov 27th). I have posted the sonogram pictures in the "Summer 2010" album (click the link to the right).

There are tons of new photos in the Summer album, and I also created an album just for the "Riley & Baxter" photos that everyone loves seeing. Now that we have 10 of them its amazing to see how much she has grown since coming home. Gone from this chubby little infant with tubes and wires to a spry little toddler that is so darn cute! Here are some of the highlights from the last month:

Riley loving the pool in her floatie...

Riley and Baxter, June 2010

Riley loving her new big girl carseat. She's still rear-facing, but now in a convertible seat rather than the carrier. Much easier for us!!

Riley and Baxter, July, 2010

Riley's baby brother...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday Riley!!!

Yesterday was Riley's birthday. Wow, can't believe its already been a year. I still remember that night like it was yesterday - the craziest and most emotional night of our lives. The fragile little angel that entered our lives that night has turned into such an amazing little girl that continues to surprise us and make us smile more and more every day. Here's a look back at a few pictures from that night...

Pre-op...our awesome nurse John having Pam sign paperwork.

Proud Papa coming out of surgery...and scared out of my mind

Touching my baby for the first time.

So tiny!!!

The next morning, under the jaundice lights.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Big Birthday Bash

Riley has spent the last few weeks improving upon her newfound skills of crawling around and pulling up on things. We finally had to start baby-proofing the house - put up a babygate on the stairs, covers on the outlets, and bolted the new bookcases to the walls. She loves to follow Baxter and Mommy around, and watch out the front and back doors. She is also sleeping in her own room now, and doing pretty well with it. A few times this past week she has gotten up more often, but between teething and allergies I guess the fussiness is to be expected. Overall, she is sleeping through the night most of the time.

Last weekend we got our first professional family photos taken. Got them done at Portrait Innovations and were very happy with the results. Click on the "Family Photo" link to the right to see them all, I posted a few below. Riley cooperated long enough to get some real good ones taken!

This weekend (Memorial Day weekend) we had friends in town, and enjoyed a huge celebration on Saturday. Had quite the house (and back yard) full of people to join in celebrating Riley's 1st birthday. Pam's mom made an awesome cake, and Riley was very spoiled with presents. Thank you to everyone that came out! We also went to our pool on Sunday, Riley's first visit to the neighborhood pool. She did pretty well with the whole experience until her feet hit the water. She didn't seem to like the water, we are thinking it was the cold temperature. Other than that, she didn't mind the sun and all the people. I'm sure she'll get used to it as the summer goes on...

The awesome cake and cupcakes Pam's mom made.

Riley being very timid about eating her cupcake...

Riley playing with her big brother Baxter.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Unplugged and Mobile

Riley's had a big week. I think in the past 10 days or so she has grown about 3 months! Last week I think I mentioned she had started "army-crawling", moving around on her stomach pulling forward with her arms. She'll start out on all fours, then fall over onto her stomach to get moving. Then on Wednesday she actually started moving on all fours crawling for real. Now she's moving all over the place! Guess it's time to get a baby-gate and baby-proof the house. We're so excited that she hit this milestone before she turned 1. Now just hoping she can walk before baby #2 arrives in November

The other big news of the week came on Friday. Got the call back from Dr. Riva and Riley passed her 2nd sleep study! This means that for the first time since she was born, she is no longer on oxygen at night, and not plugged into a monitor. It's come just in time too, since she's all but outgrown the bassinet. Head-to-toe, I don't think she has more than another few inches before she's hitting both ends. The challenge now will be to wean her out of our room and into her crib at night - I think Riley will take to it fine, it's Pam that will have the harder time adjusting (haha).

Pam had her check-up with the OB this week too, and at 11 weeks she's still doing great. Baby is about 1.5" big, and heart rate was 170bpm (almost identical to Riley at that point). 9 days post-op for me now, and starting to get around pretty good (drastically better than I was in the photo below). Ditched the crutches by Wednesday, and slowly getting back to 100%. Have physical therapy once a week for the next 5 weeks, and by then hopefully will be back on the softball field.

Here's a short video of Riley showing off her new-found skill. She's getting faster and more coordinated every day!

Riley and me resting after knee surgery...

Riley and big brother Baxter

Riley standing in her crib...whining because she can't figure out how to sit back down

Riley crawling!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

It was this time last year (May 11th, the day after Mother's Day), that Pam's water unexpectedly broke at 24 weeks and this whirlwind adventure took off.  It's hard to believe it has been that long, and yet at the same time it does feel like it was forever ago.  We have been through so much over the past 12 months.  Although it's not something we wished for or would want to go through again, I am forever grateful to have someone as great as Pam to have had by my side throughout this.  She is an amazingly strong person, and has proven to be a wonderful mother to Riley.  Happy Mother's Day to Pam and all the other Mothers out there who don't always get the recognition they deserve.

We spent a weekend in Manhattan with my family, attending the KSU Open House and celebrating birthdays (Nikki, Eric, Landon, and Makena's are all within a month of each other).  We didn't end up making it to K-State's Spring Football Game, but had a blast hanging out at Nikki's instead.  We also got to spend some time with Pam's family a few times in April, as her brother John was home from Korea for a few weeks.  They took a trip to Botanica and had a nice photo shoot with Riley, Benjamin, and the rest of the family.

These past few days have been a little more hectic around here.  I had my knee surgery on Friday and have been laid up on the couch since then.  I know this isn't how Pam was wanting to spend her first official Mother's Day, waiting on me hand and foot, and for that I am even more grateful.  I've done my best to help watch Riley while she gets other tasks done, but unfortunately I can't help with much. 

Tonight my family will be coming over to celebrate Mother's Day.  We will get to break in the new BBQ grill, but I guess I'll have to let someone else do the cooking.  Pam's mom and sister have been out of town, so will have to celebrate with them later. 

Riley is really growing up lately.  She is a super-happy baby and loves to smile and laugh - especially at Baxter.  She is sitting up on her own very well, and has even started army crawling!  We are holding out hope she'll get a real crawl or two in before her birthday at the end of the month.  She is eating much better now, and loves to "gum" on cookies, carrots, and anything else we give her.  We have been working on waving "bye-bye" and clapping to "patty-cake" as well.  She seems to be getting the hang of it, and usually gets a giggle or two in when we play.  We should find out in the next few weeks if we can discontinue the night-time oxygen and unplug the monitor.  We will probably have to do another sleep study first, which should get scheduled sometime soon.  Her weight is holding steady at about 14lb 6oz.  Even though she is eating much better, she is also a lot more active and therefore burning more calories.  We will likely have to switch her to formula soon since Pam's milk supply is depleting from this new pregnancy.  Those hundreds of bottles of milk in the deep-freeze are surprisingly disappearing pretty fast.

With her birthday coming up in just a few weeks, we are working to finalize the plans for her party.  Looks like we'll have it Saturday, May 29th from 2pm-4pm, followed by our annual "Skach-a-Palooza" summer bash.  Everyone is welcome to attend, so please contact Pam if you can make it.

Here are a few photos from the past few weeks.  Again, click on the links to the right to see many more pictures.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April Showers Bring...Another Baby?

Another exciting week for us.  Last weekend my family came over for a BBQ after my mom and sister took her kids to the circus.  Took a walk after dinner and played at our neighborhood park.  Riley seemed to like the swing a little better this time.  Tuesday Pam's family came over for a BBQ as well.  Pam's brother, John, is home from Korea for a few weeks so they wanted to come hang out.  It was good to see him - he hadn't seen Riley since last September, she has grown a little since then!

Thursday was a busy day.  Started out with a doctors appointment for me - found out I will indeed need surgery on my knees.  Going under the knife on May 7th to get torn cartilage fixed in my right knee, and an inflamed plica band removed from my left knee.  I was hoping to avoid surgery, but at least this will hopefully end 10+ years of knee pain. 

Wednesday was Riley's upper GI, so after my appointment on Thursday we headed over to Dr. Nichols to get the results.  They couldn't see anything unusual, but at the same time Riley wasn't being too cooperative with drinking the Barium.  They had to feed her while taking the x-ray, so Pam couldn't be in there to help (since she is pregnant).  They said she drank enough for them to get a decent look.  So either there isn't a problem, or there could have been and she outgrew it (which is likely with a hiatal hernia).  She has been eating a lot better and spitting up less so that is possible.  Still would like to see her gaining more weight - she's currently at about 14lb 5oz.  Even though she is eating more now, she is also more active so is burning more calories.

Thursday afternoon we went to Pam's first OB appointment for baby #2.  Dr. Depew was a little shocked to see us again so soon!  Was able to hear the baby's heartbeat and see it on their mini-sonogram for the first time.  Baby was 0.80cm long, measured about 6 1/2 weeks he said.  Heartrate was at 127bpm, a little slower than Riley's first one (she was at 154bpm, but was also 7 1/2 weeks).  At this point, they are guessing the due date around December 4th.  Have sonogram pictures, but the scanner isn't hooked up right now so I'll have to post them later.  Dr. Depew said at this point he wasn't going to restrict us from doing anything and doesn't plan on it since we really don't know what caused the premature rupture with Riley.  Guess we'll just watch everything closely and play it by ear.

Spent this weekend working outside, got some yardwork done, finished my lattice-work under the deck, and cleaned out the garage.  Went to dinner at Pam's mom's house tonight.  Hope to get to see John a few more times before he leaves at the end of the month.  Next weekend we are headed to Manhattan to spend a few days with my sister's family, go to the K-State Spring Football game, and celebrate Makena and Landon's birthdays.

A few photos from the past two weeks (more are in the "Spring" album, click on the link to the right):