Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving and Riley's baptism

It has been another very eventful week for Riley. She celebrated her first Thanksgiving surrounded by tons of family. Both my family and Pam's family went to my parents house here in Wichita for an afternoon dinner. She had tons of visitors on top of family, with all the neighbors stopping by to see the little miracle baby they have heard so much about. It was great to be able to show her off, and she handled all the attention really well.

Today we (finally) had Riley's Baptism. We would have like to have done it sooner, but for obvious reasons it took awhile to get around to it. My younger brother and sister, Michael and Jill, are now officially her Godparents. Thank you to everyone who were able to attend and help celebrate the occasion. Despite having tons of visitors and all kinds of attention, she did very well. One of the gifts we received was from Pam's mom and sister - a professionally bound book with photos and excerpts from this blog! It is really neat, and helps tell Riley's story and documents her amazing journey. Very touching...

Pam and Riley did pretty well without me during my trip to St. Louis the week before last. 4 days alone with each other, I figured Pam would have gone insane but managed to hold it together. Next week starts a new chapter in our attempt to return to life as normal, as Pam is going to return to work a few days a week. My mom has graciously offered to come over on Mon/Wed/Fri to watch Riley so Pam can phase herself back in at McCurdy.

Rainbows hasn't been out in a few weeks to work with her, as the therapist was sick the week before last and then the holiday created another week off. This coming week she'll have them out here, along with an appointment to see the pediatrician and get her 6 month shots. She has been progressing well, but feedings have become a bigger pain - she isn't fussing near as much but even though she is "sucking", she still barely manages to get 3 oz. down in 30-45 minutes. She has also started to throw up a lot more - usually a few times a day. Given that I had a hiatal hernia as an infant, and threw up just about every feeding, this is de-ja-vu for my mom! Hopefully the speech therapist and/or pediatrician will be able to help with this, since her weight gain has slowed down quite a bit. She has started to roll a little bit more, and is smiling a lot. It is very rewarding when playing and talking with her to get a little smirk or grin - but we've already figured out it is nearly impossible to catch it with the camera! Have been lucky to catch a few, but none of the "really good" ones.

Friday was Pam's 28th birthday, so we finally got her out on the town for the first time in awhile. She even had a few "adult beverages" - her first since before last Christmas! Pam's mom and sister babysat Riley so we could get out of the house and we are very grateful, Pam really enjoyed getting out for a bit.

This Wednesday (Dec 2nd), Riley will be 6 months old. We are parents of a 6 month old. Riley is halfway to 1 year old. How is this possible? Has it really been that long? In a few weeks, it will be a year since we got pregnant. Wow, life has really changed in the last 12 months. We have grown so much as people, as a couple, and as a family. And we have the gray hairs to prove it, haha!

Here's a few pictures from Thanksgiving and Baptism...check out more at this link:

All smiles lately! She's learned Mommy and Daddy's voices and lights up when she hears them.

Me and Riley with her cousins Landon and Makena at Thanksgiving...all 3 Skach grandkids!

Getting baptized by Fr. Orr

So cute in her baptism dress. She did real well and didn't cry at all!

Godparents Michael and Jill with Riley at Baptism.

With my parents and Pam's mom at the Baptism.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

24 weeks old

This past week has made us realize how much our life has changed since Riley came home. Instead of hustling to get home from work, eat dinner, and get to the hospital - as was our routine for the first 4 months after Riley was born - we now are very lazy and don't do a whole lot in the evenings. But yet time flies by just the same...I can't believe how quickly bedtime comes even though we don't really do anything.

Riley got her first RSV shot this week, handled it pretty well too. We were expecting her to at least be a little fussy, or something, but it was business as usual for her the rest of the day. Rainbows came out a few times again this week, gave a few tips to Pam to help the feedings. Trying a few different things since Riley can still be a real pain when eating sometimes. I've all but given up on giving her bottles myself, its become more evident that only Pam has the touch.

This next week will be a challenging one for us. I'll be gone on a business trip from Tuesday to Friday, so Pam and Riley will be all alone for 4 days/3 nights. Other than another Rainbows appointment on Wednesday, should be a pretty uneventful week for her - and luckily we have tons of friends and family closeby should Pam need anything. And with snow looming over us the first part of the week, I'm sure Pam won't mind being stuck inside the whole time.

We did finally set Riley's Baptism date - will be Nov 29th, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, at Resurrection Catholic Church here in Wichita. It will be immediately after the 11am mass, and everyone is welcome. Afterwards, we are probably going to have some sort of small reception at our house for the family. My brother and sister, Michael and Jill, will be Riley's Godparents.

I know I like to throw out dates and milestones, but here's another one for you - 6 months. It's been that long since Pam's water first broke and this whole adventure first started. It's been such an eventful half-year, I can't imagine what the next 6 months will hold...

Pam's been wanting to create birth annoucements (yes, just a little late), so she took a few black-and-white photos for a design she was working on. Here's a few of the best ones...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

5 months old, and Happy Halloween!

I know there's probably several of you out there that are upset with me...2 weeks without a blog post is a first. And judging by the fact I'm still getting 20-30 visitors a day on this thing, there are a lot who have been hoping for an update over the past week. But rest assured, I didn't forget about you - our lives have just been pretty boring...and yet busy at the same time?

Halloween weekend was a fun one for us. Started off on Friday with some trick-or-treating at my office. We have a tradition where all the employees bring in their kids (and grandkids, etc.) to try and score some free candy from all of us, so after some begging from a few in the office we decided to go ahead and bring Riley in. Kept her in my office and didn't take her around to everyone in the building to keep from exposing her to too much, but everyone got to poke their head in and meet the little miracle they've all heard so much about. Didn't do much on Saturday (Halloween day) since she is still a little young to actually hunt for any candy - and no, we didn't really have a costume for her, just a cute jack-o-lantern onesie (see below) for her to wear. Sunday (Nov 1st) was my dad's birthday, and also our turn to take the gifts up at Church so we opted to take Riley to Resurrection for the first time and had my parents tag along to help escort us up. I didn't get a good picture of Riley in her Sunday dress, as we were rushed both before and after mass. She did really well during Church though, in fact slept through the entire thing.

After Church, we took a calculated risk and decided to bring her to my basketball game as well. There usually aren't very many people there, and she stayed in her stroller the whole time so it turned into a great opportunity to get her and Pam out of the house. She was good luck for me too, as I hit my first 4 3-pointers with my little inspiration in attendance! We ended up losing, but that's not very uncommon for us...

This week was a little less eventful - only thing to report on was her follow-up with Wesley's OT/PT department. Somewhat redundant with the PT she is receiving from Rainbows, but they worked with her a little more and gave us some more exercises to do with her to try and loosen up the stiffness in her legs and arms. They also said to increase the amount of "tummy time" and work to keep her on the back of her head more, so we bought a special head pillow (looks like a donut) to try and prevent her head from going to one side or the other while she sleeps.
The weather has been nice enough these past two weeks that Pam and Riley have taken a few walks during the day. The oxygen tank fits just perfectly underneath the stroller, so we don't have to wheel the cart around with us. So far, Riley seems to enjoy it and sleeps most the time. Its good exercise for Baxter too, since he doesn't get played with or taken on walks as much as he's used to. And judging by the weight he has gained since his last vet appointment (up to 104 lbs!), he could use a few more of these walks.

Next week, we have two more appointments with Rainbows, both PT and Speech therapy (bottling) coming out to work with her. After that, nothing until December. We are going to try and schedule her baptism for the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but haven't talked to the Church yet.

On Monday (Nov 2nd), Riley hit 5 months old. I know I say this with every milestone, but WOW! I can't believe it has been 5 months already. Also, yesterday was exactly 1 month since we finally got to bring our angel home. Looking at this blog, 63 posts so far and over 5700 visitors, it is amazing how much support has been generated by this website. I started it as a way to keep from sending out mass emails to my family, and slowly it has made its way to so many people. It has helped me keep my sanity throughout the ordeal, forced me to pay more attention and ask more questions when speaking with the medical staff, and really been a stress reliever more than anything. I hope you all have enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed typing it. I'm thinking of printing out all these posts into a book for Riley, and when she is a teenager and mouthing off we will have some leverage to remind her how much we have gone through for her, haha!

Here's a few pics from the past two weeks:

Sleeping beauty....

Happy Riley! She's starting to smile every once in awhile...hoping to see more and more of it and she grows
Riley and big brother Baxter going on their first walk together.

Riley looking festive in her Halloween outfit. Not a great pic, but she wasn't wanting to hold still for this one.

After another bath...looking so cute without the oxygen! Hopefully only another month before we can look like this all the time.

As promised, here's Riley with Baxter again. Hasn't grown a whole lot in the last month, up to a little over 12 pounds.

To view even more photos, check out these two albums on my facebook (you don't have to be a facebook member to view):
Riley Alexis Skach (photos during her hospital stay)
Riley - album #2 (photos since she came home)