Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One last post for 2009

Okay, I know I said you wouldn't hear from me until next year but had some good news to tell everyone about. Yesterday at our appointment with Dr. Nichols (pediatrician), Riley weighed in at 12lb 12oz! That means she has gained 12oz in 2 weeks! This is great news, since the weight gain is our biggest obstacle to getting off the oxygen. He went ahead and had us start mixing in a formula supplement anyways to make sure the weight gain continues. Just have to mix in a tablespoon of powder with each feeding to add a few extra calories. 2 more weeks and we'll be back to see Dr. Riva, let's pray this weight gain keeps going.

Happy New Years!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Riley's first Christmas, and the end of an amazing year

Riley's first Christmas was an exciting one. Started out on Christmas Eve with dinner with Pam's family. Her sister, Laura, turned 21 on the 24th so we had to celebrate that (along with her engagement!!!) with dinner at Kobe's Steakhouse. It was Riley's first trip to a restaurant, and also her first experience in a blizzard. We rushed from dinner to Christmas Eve Mass so we wouldn't have to stay out in that bad weather any longer than we had to. She did good all bundled up.

Christmas morning we had Pam's family and my parents over for breakfast. Santa skipped our house this year since we knew Riley would be overly spoiled by the rest of the family. Once she is old enough to understand it all we'll probably ask him to start coming by, haha. We hung out here after breakfast and opened presents and played a little Wii. Then we headed over to my parents' house in the afternoon for dinner and presents with all of my side of the family. And just as expected Riley was spoiled and got all kinds of wonderful toys, clothes, books, etc. Thank you to everyone for the great presents!!

Saturday, I spent the morning working with my brother-in-law in the basement getting the bar finished while my sister and her kids hung out with Riley and Pam upstairs. Makena read Riley books and Landon was elated to get to hold her for the first time. We went down the street to the Erwin's house to celebrate Koelton's 1st birthday that afternoon (Happy Birthday K-Man!), and then headed back to my parents house in the afternoon for the "big" Skach family Christmas. Unfortunately it was a much smaller gathering than most years due to the weather and other travel issues that kept all the out-of-towners from coming. We still had a good time though hanging out with everyone and playing games. And of course, everyone was thrilled to see Riley and she enjoyed meeting more family members.

I'm off work this week, burning some vacation time at home. Hoping to get some projects done around the house but so far after Day 1, the only thing I've accomplished is setting some new high scores on Wii. Oh well, still have a few more days. Tomorrow Riley has an appointment with the pediatrician to check her weight. Hopefully she will have gained a little bit, but either way there's a good chance he'll have us add some formula to her diet to help boost the calorie intake and therefore help the weight gain. Need to get her packing on the pounds like before so we can get her off the oxygen!

Thursday Riley will get to celebrate her first New Year's Eve. We decided to stay in again this year rather than carting her out anywhere. So if you aren't doing anything, come on over! Looks like we'll have the "usual" crowd hanging out here, and now that I have the bar downstairs done it really helps with the gatherings.

I'm guessing this will be my last post of the year, so I spent some time reading back through everything I have written so far. Hard to believe this is my 70th post. But going back to the beginning it is amazing how far we have come since our tiny, fragile, delicate gift from God came into our lives and changed us forever. 12 months ago, we had just found out we were pregnant and were trying to keep it from everyone while we figured out how to tell our families. Who would have thought 1 year later we would be the parents of a 7-month old. Despite everything, I wouldn't change a single thing and am so grateful for everything that has happened this year. 6500 visitors in less than 7 months shows how much love and support we have out there, and for that I am truly grateful. I know that without all of you, we couldn't have gotten through everything okay. I hope you all have had a great year as well, and wish everyone the best in 2010. Thank you for being a part of our journey this year and please stick around for the ride next year.

On a side note, I encourage everyone to click on the "Journey to Me" blog link to the right. Please keep Heather Moore and her son Eli in your prayers. Although a few years apart, Heather and I grew up across the street from each other. Her son is only a month old but is fighting through some major health issues and desperately needs God's intervention. Check out her blog for their story.

Also to the right are links to my Facebook photo albums. You don't have to be a Facebook member to view them, so browse through and check them out since I don't post very many photos on here.

Here's a few photos from this past week...

Asleep in her never fails, if she is being fussy and won't calm down we can put her in there and she'll fall right asleep. Best babysitter ever!

Happy baby in her Christmas outfit. She's really smiling a lot lately, and every time is better than the last. Love it!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Almost Christmas!

Only 4 more days til Riley's first Christmas, woo hoo! Unfortunately, we didn't get the early Christmas present we were hoping for last week. Because Riley isn't gaining much weight, Dr. Riva opted not to take her off the oxygen yet. I don't really agree with the decision, but alas I am not a doctor so I have to live with it. Even though Riley has been able to go without the O2 for long periods at night (when the tubes come out of her nose) and her saturation remained high, she explained that she might be taking extra breaths to make up for it, which burns more calories, which keeps her from gaining weight. So she needs to show that she can gain weight on the O2, so that if they take her off the O2 they'll know if it is the reason she isn't gaining weight. Dr. Riva wanted to go another 2 months, but after my objecting we are going back in 1 month. Hopefully with Pam home now, and the possibility that Dr. Nichols will put her on some formula next week, Riley will start to pack on the weight the way she used to.

She also had a follow up vision screening last week, and passed with flying colors. We'll have to go back in 6 months (and probably every 6-12 months throughout her childhood). No more appointments this week, and only one planned next week is the pediatrician to check her weight and discuss adding formula to her diet to help with calorie intake. We've also been mixing in a bit of rice cereal to get her used to having stuff in her mouth. She seems to do okay with it and actually swallow it sometimes not just play with it.

Pam was told she didn't have to serve out her remaining two weeks at work, so she's started her SAHM (I guess that's the acronym for Stay-At-Home-Mom) status sooner than planned. She's been keeping busy with Riley and today even got lots of holiday baking done. This next two weeks should be fun for us. Already had one Christmas on Saturday night, since Pam's sister-in-law and nephew will be out of town when her family gathers at our house on Christmas morning. We'll head over to my parent's Friday afternoon, then back over there again on Saturday for the extended Skach family Christmas. Will be exciting for everyone to see Riley, some were able to see her in the hospital but many haven't ever met her. Then next week I'm taking some vacation time so will be able to hang out at home all week with my two ladies. Hope to get some projects done around the house, and get some good relaxation in. Then we'll get to celebrate our first New Year's Eve as parents! I'm told that usually results in going to bed before midnight, but we're hoping to keep that from happening.

We took our Christmas photos last week, and finally got our cards out in the mail today...after many takes (never realized how hard it is to get 2 adults, 1 baby, and a dog to all look and smile at the same time) this was our best shot:
Also included with our cards this year, Pam finally got Riley's birth announcements done and included them. I think they turned out great! Being married to a graphic designer really has its perks sometimes...

Here's another cute one from the yesterday. Riley doesn't enjoy laying down anymore, but loves to sit up and check out the world around her. She'll sit there and look around wide-eyed for long stretches of time. Can't wait to see what her inquisitive mind does once she becomes mobile.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stay at home mom

This week marked another major event in our lives. After much discussion, and surprisingly few arguments, Pam turned in her notice at McCurdy and as of Christmas will officially be a stay-at-home mom. She tried returning to work a few days a week at the beginning of December, while my Mom watched Riley, but it wasn't working out very well so we decided this was the best option. My Mom did great, but Riley still is having trouble feeding, and with all her doctor appointments and everything else it just seemed Pam would not be able to fully concentrate on work and return full time for quite awhile. She is looking forward to being at home to attend to Riley's every need, but will definitely miss all the great people at McCurdy she has worked with over the past 2 1/2 years.

No major appointments this past week, but coming up on Tuesday is the one we've been looking forward to for awhile - Dr. Riva, the pulmonary specialist. We are hoping that she will tell us we are done with the oxygen and the saturation monitor. It is likely we will still need it part of the time, probably during the night and maybe feedings as well, but we'll find out for sure in a few days. On Wednesday, she has a follow-up with Dr. Whitfil, the eye doctor. Because she has been on oxygen so long, there is still the posibility of retinal damage, but unlikely because of the low levels she has been on - plus throughout her NICU stay she had several tests and always passed with flying colors, so we are expecting positive results there as well.

Riley's been getting out and seeing more of the world these past few weeks. We've taken her shopping a few times, but have done our best to keep her from being exposed to too much. She has also been to a few more of my basketball games, and really seems to enjoy all the lights, sounds, and action.

I'll try to post again later this week after the appointments, with hopefully some very good news. In the meantime, here's this month's "Riley and Baxter" photo...she hasn't gained much weight, but is definitely getting longer!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy half-year birthday!

As of 8:49pm tonight, Riley is officially 6 months old. It's been such an adventure, hard to remember what life was like before!

Yesterday was Riley's BAER hearing test. It was supposed to get done before she left the hospital, but kept getting delayed. They had to sedate her to do it, so it made for an interesting day for Pam and Riley. They had to get there at 7:45am, even though the appointment was at 9am, and didn't end up leaving until 2pm - and Riley wasn't able to eat the entire time! Just like her Daddy, it took a whole lot to knock her out, and even then she woke up during one of the last tests so they weren't able to get all the results they wanted. They want to see her again in 6 months just to make sure she continues to do okay.

Tomorrow morning is her 6-month appt with Dr. Nichols, the pediatrician. I think she'll be getting her 6 month shots, and another round of RSV. Hopefully they'll be able to help with some of the feeding problems we've been having. Latest issue is Riley's hatred of the bottle. She'll be doing just fine, but as soon as the bottle touches her lips she starts screaming. Made feeding time not very fun, and she's not eating near as much as she should since she fights it so much.

Not much else to tell, but wanted to make sure we recognized this great milestone. Only 6 more months and we can throw a big party!