Monday, December 27, 2010

Lila's first weeks home

In an effort to catch up on all the posts I need to do (yikes), I've uploaded a bunch of photos from Lila's first weeks home that I consider to be most representative of what she was doing then. Here is Lila.....

.....hanging out with John, Aunt Lindsay and Uncle Ethan

.....sleeping in her car seat

.....enjoying some Mommy time with her gigantic hospital-issued pacifier

.....looking at Daddy

.....sleeping in Uncle Nick's arms

.....reclining on the changing table before a diaper change

.....sleeping on Aunt Beverly's shoulder

.....cuddling with Daddy

.....taking a bottle from Daddy

.....sticking out her tongue at the camera

.....getting a smooch from Mommy

.....relaxing on Daddy's legs

.....posing for some glamour shots on her favorite blanket (ok, Mommy's favorite blanket)

.....sleeping once again in her car seat, this time dressed up in a bear pram (the same one John had as a newborn)
and, finally, "playing" on her jungle activity mat
Here's a video of her playing on her mat, too. Whew! She was a busy girl.

Playing in the jungle from Sarah Schuchard on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

John at 22 months

John's 22-month birthday on November 8th came at such a busy time that I don't think we even remembered it, let alone celebrated it. But in the days leading up to us bringing Lila home from the hospital on the 4th, we tried to spend as much time with John as possible. Daddy LOVED hanging out with his little buddy outside.

On the back porch at Grandma Kay's house.....

Throwing leaves in the air.....

Looking good at Central Park in downtown Naperville.....

Steering the jeep at the park.....

Riding on a bumblebee together.....

Going down the big-boy slide.....

During the month of November, John went through some amazing changes, the biggest of which was his HUGE growth spurt. I wouldn't be surprised at all if John grew two inches in that time. All of a sudden, his shirts weren't long enough, and I didn't need to roll up his pant legs anymore to keep them from dragging on the floor. And his HANDS!!! Wow. His hands seemed to double in size. My baby boy no longer had baby hands!

Other amazing changes for John at 22 months related to his intellectual development. When Ross first came home in late October, John counted from 1 to 3 and could identify a dozen or so letters of the alphabet in random order. By the time Ross left a month later, John was counting from 1 to 13 (13 because there are 13 steps from the ground floor to the second floor of Grandma Kay's house) and was singing nearly the entire ABC song. John also began using two- and three-word phrases (mostly imperatives, of course) on a regular, rather than occasional, basis -- for example, "up pease!" or "up pease, Mommy!" The highest frequency verbs in his vocabulary included: color, do, draw, eat, feed, fix, go, open, play, push, and shut.

Once it started getting colder outside, we started spending more time in the house, which meant we had to come up with new ways to entertain John. Some of his favorite new obsessions that month were coloring, "fixing" things, and singing while "playing" guitar. John got interested in fixing things one morning while he was watching Daddy put together Lila's lamb chair. Daddy let John use some tools to practice, and when John wanted to continue carrying the tools around the house later on, Grandma Bonnie decided (for obvious safety reasons) that it was time to get him some tools of his own. John loves to "fix" his toys now, especially his Radio Flyer bike. He asks, "Mommy fix bike?," and then I sit down next to him and pretend to tinker around. Sometimes he asks me to flip the bike over so we can work on the undercarriage. While John uses all the tools in his toy set, he prizes his "boo-biber" (screwdriver) above them all. It is a bad day when we can't find the "boo-biber."

As for his other new obsession, let this video speak for itself:

Singing with the guitar from Sarah Schuchard on Vimeo.

I've always made a point of singing to John, especially at night before bed, but it's been so fun singing with him. He just plain LOVES to sing! John's vocal repertoire includes the ABC song, "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," " Jingle Bells," "Old McDonald," "Peanut butter and jelly" (see next video), "Three Blind Mice," and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Ask him to sing you one of these songs, and he'll belt it out at the top of his lungs. You're really in for a treat if he's got the "tar" in front of him too.

So those are the highlights of 22 months.....I will hopefully have the chance to do a 23-month post in the next week or so. It's got to get done before John turns 2!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bringing Lila home

After spending nine days in the hospital, Lila was finally able to come home on November 4th. The best part of bringing her home was seeing John's reaction to her! This was really the first meet-and-greet the siblings had, since John was so distracted during his two visits to the NICU. Of course we had to get this encounter on film.

I love the part in this first video when, asked who Lila resembles, John says, "Ross." Haha! And no, we don't let John address us by our first names. I also love the part when John tires of examining this new baby we've brought home and decides he needs toys.

Lila's homecoming 1 from Sarah Schuchard on Vimeo.

The funniest part of round two of John vs. Lila is when John tells Lila to get out of her car seat.

Lila's homecoming 2 from Sarah Schuchard on Vimeo.

Some other photos from that wonderful day:

Mommy and Lila getting ready to be wheeled out of the hospital that morning.....

Grandma Bonnie holding her granddaughter for the first time out of the hospital.....

Our beautiful girl awake.....

and asleep.....

A photo op with John and Daddy.....

and with Mommy and Daddy.....

It was the greatest feeling in the world to finally be able to bring Lila home from the hospital! We were super nervous about it, but the neonatologist assured us that he wouldn't let her leave the NICU unless she were ready. And after a few sleepless nights of worrying about whether she was breathing (which every parent does), we finally got used to having a newborn again.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lila's first Halloween!

Sadly, Lila had to spend her first Halloween in the NICU due to several issues that arose following her birth. But we didn't let that stop us from celebrating the holiday with her! We dressed John up in his giraffe costume and headed over to the hospital for a visit.

John had only seen Lila once before, and it had been a very short visit. The evening of the day Lila was born, Grandma Kay had escorted him into the NICU to see Mommy, Daddy and Lila, but John was way too excited about all the neat things to look at in the room that he gave his baby sister just a passing glance. A similar thing happened on Halloween when we tried to get John interested in her. I guess toddlers and NICUs just don't mix.

We at least got a few this one, you can see Lila wrapped up in a purple blanket in her crib in the NICU, with Mommy and John beside her.

Daddy got John to sit in one of the lab chairs for about 10 seconds so I could get this photo.

And, by the time I took these next photos, Grandma Bonnie and Grandma Kay had already whisked John out of the NICU to keep him from pulling on the cords of the other patients' beds. Here's Lila in the little Halloween outfit the nurses put on her! (She had a knitted pumpkin hat, too, that we took off.)

Back at home, we got ready to take John trick-or-treating (for the first time!) in Grandma Kay's neighborhood. We figured it would be easiest to take him in his buggy, so we did.

Getting ready to ring the doorbell of his first house.....
At his second house.....

At Jack's house.....Jack had just woken up from a nap, so he wasn't as excited as he normally would be to see his little buddy John.

We only went to four houses on John's first trick-or-treating experience because it was getting really cold out and Mommy was fatigued from having given birth just five days earlier. Back at home, we let John have a lollipop from his bag of spoils.

Mommy and Daddy secretly ate the remaining 5-6 pieces of candy from John's bag. The funny thing was, John never seemed to realize that the items he was collecting at each house were edible! I was amazed. I guess that's one thing he'll definitely understand when he goes trick-or-treating next year. Hopefully he'll also understand next year that he doesn't need to give the people at each house something in return for the candy -- he kept trying to hand people pieces of candy from his bag. He even tried giving Mr. Allemeier the stem from the pumpkin he painted, haha!

Here's a video of John practicing saying "trick-or-treat" after we were done making the rounds. The way he says it makes it sound like "choo-treat."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Welcome, Lila!

We've been waiting for you, Lila! Our beautiful daughter Lila Kay Schuchard was born on Tuesday, October 26th at 11:31 a.m. She weighed 6 pounds 7 ounces and measured 19 1/2 inches long. We are so happy to have her in our family!

The day of Lila's birth started very early. We woke up at 4:15 a.m. to get ready and called the Labor & Delivery Ward at 4:45 to make sure there was a bed available for me. Happily, there was! Here we are before leaving for the hospital:

By 5:20 a.m., we were getting settled into our L&D room, and an hour later, I had started on a bag of Pitocin. The doctor ruptured my membranes shortly after 7 (I was already dilated 3 cm!), and then my contractions really took off. Here I am in my bed, still looking pretty relaxed, around 7:45.

At approximately 10 a.m., when the contractions were about 2 minutes apart, the pain was intense enough for me to request the epidural. It was great to feel this epidural working so rapidly -- a luxury I didn't have when I gave birth to John because I received that epidural so late that it didn't have enough time to fully take effect. Soon after the epidural, I started having this really sharp pain in my lower left abdomen. It didn't feel like a contraction at all, so I was a little concerned. Andrea, our nurse, checked me at that point, and I was 9 cm dilated. Nobody could believe it! (I guess I waited a little longer than I should have for the epidural.) The doctor and L&D staff rushed around to get everything prepared for the delivery.

Once I was fully dilated, I pushed for about 12 minutes. It was much harder pushing with Lila than it was with John because the epidural made it difficult for me to feel myself bearing down. But at least it was a lot less painful! Overall, this birthing experience was about as good as I could possibly have hoped for. We feel very blessed that it went as well as it did and that Ross could be home for it.

Here is a video Daddy took right after Lila's birth.....listen to that cry!!

Lila after birth from Sarah Schuchard on Vimeo.

And here is a video of Mommy holding Lila for the first time!

Mommy holding Lila from Sarah Schuchard on Vimeo.

Finally, here are some pictures of the little darling from the first hours of her herself and with her Mommy and Daddy.

Finally, here's Mommy with the new big brother!