Monday, November 23, 2009

Claire's Message for Mom

Because of the H1N1 Swine Flu season, no visitors under the age of 15 were allowed in the hospital which meant I was unable to see Claire during my stay. When I realized I was going to be there a week, I asked Pete to try and get a video of Claire so that I could watch it over and over again :) Here is the PERFECT video that he was able to capture.

Claire and Grace bond

Here is Claire, just up from her nap - pushing Grace on the swing and seeming to enjoy some time with her little sis :)

Grace - 2 weeks old

Well Miss Grace is two weeks old and it has certainly been a journey. We are happy to report that after taking Grace to the doctor, she is cleared of pneumonia and appears to be back to a healthy newborn. She was 7 lbs, 10 oz and 20 inches long. Claire has adjusted pretty well, but seems to cry more and want her pacifier more which are definately natural responses. All in all, we think Claire is doing great and are proud of her. We are also proud of Miss Grace for already growing a thick skin to a few pokes and love taps from Claire :) Here are some pictures...

One of these days we'll get a family photo with BOTH girls happy :)

Pete suggested we try and put Grace in the stroller and thought Claire might nicely push it... the expression on Claire's face in this picture shows how much she did not like this idea. Needless to say it was a short experiment...

Again, once Claire cooperates... Grace is unhappy...

Not sure why Grace looks so scared... probably the bright flash... oops :)

A little snuggle time with dad

Thanks for the cute outfit, cousin Erin

Grace seeming to give the camera a mean look (?)

Claire watching TV, Grace eating her pajamas... one of the best pictures yet :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Since coming home, things have been going well. Karen, Pete's mom, has been here helping out with chasing Claire, cooking, cleaning... she has been a HUGE help! Claire will say "baby" and hug/kiss Grace on command but otherwise she doesn't seem too interested in her. Pete and I got Claire a few little toys to make her feel special after bringing Miss Grace home. Grace mostly sleeps, eats, and poops so aside from our lack of sleep - she is pretty low maintenance. Here are some pictures from the last few days :)
One of Claire's favorite TV shows is Backyardigans and her favorite character is Pablo (pictured above)... we found a huge Pablo balloon at a party store and bought this for her. At first, she was scared but about 12 hours later, she warmed up to the balloon.

Miss Grace peacefully sleeping

Snug as a bug in her car seat and ready to hit the town

After many attempts to get a picture of the girls in matching pajamas (and multiple failures) we had a game plan... Once Claire fell asleep, Karen, Pete, Grace and I went into the room and quickly turned Claire over, put Grace down, snapped a picture, picked Grace up and ran out. Needless to say, it worked pretty well :)

We also got Claire a little baby stroller for her plastic baby... or three of her favorite Backyardigans characters

Dad and his little girls

Grace...scared of something (?)

Claire watching Barney as we slid Grace closer for a picture... Claire's 100% attention to Barney helped us snap this picture

Mommy missed Claire SO much while she was in the hospital

Our first family photo

When Grace first got home and Claire first held her

Grace in her car seat and ready to go

Mom and Dad ready to take Grace home

The night before we left, we gave Gracie her first bath

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Healthier, Happier Grace!

We are happy to report that Grace is doing much better! She still has to go to the Special Care Nursery to get antibiotics, but she is able to stay in the room with us otherwise. We have very much enjoyed snuggling and taking care of her in our room. The doctor said we can be discharged on Tuesday morning so we are very excited about that. Here are some pictures of a much healther, happier Grace Ann...

Here she is snuggling with dad

Wide awake with mom

She was wide awake for about 20 minutes after a feeding

Already praying apparently :)

Grace with Grandma V

Grace and Grandma C

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Update on Grace

Grace is still in the special care nursery. They have diagnosed with pneumonia and decided she needs to be on antibiotics for 7 days so we will be here until Tuesday. She is doing well though. She is off oxygen but still needs a little help from her nasal cannula. She has a feeding tube in and is getting regular feedings of formula. I am able to attempt breast feeding every other time, but they don't want to stress her out so we are taking it easy. She had an IV in her hand that went bad so they (unfortunately) had to put an IV in her head but this way she is pulling at it less. Both Pete and I have gotten to hold her and simply adore her. Thank you for all of your support and here are some updated pictures.

Here is daddy helping with her first tube feeding

Sweet dreams, Grace...

Daddy changing her diaper

Grace telling me all about her tough day

Wide awake and sucking her hand

A couple of very proud parents

Already adores her dad :)

We love that full head of hair!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Little Miss Grace Ann

Grace Ann Vandervaart was born at 6:58 a.m. on November 10th. She weighed 7 lbs, 12 oz and was 20 inches long. She is having a few respiratory issues and is on a nasal cannula. She has an IV in her little arm and is on antibiotics. The doctors said this is minor and hope that she will be able to come out of the special care nursery tomorrow. Pete and I are very anxious to hold our new daughter. Here are some pictures of our little Grace.

One proud dad

Mom's first chance to touch and kiss Grace

We think she looks bigger than 7 lbs, 12 oz...

Grace has a matching birth mark to Claire on her forehead

At first she was under an oxygen hood before she got switched to the nasal cannula

(We are sure she is thinking "What a long day...")

Proud parents... wished Claire could join us
We will continue to update

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

This Halloween Claire was a princess thanks to a beautiful dress that Grandma Vandervaart picked up when she went to Disney World. We were very impressed with how Claire did this year. Here are some pictures from our evening...
Our pretty little princess...

When we started trick or treating, Claire was unsure that if we put the candy in the basket that she would get it back so she started to hoard the candy.

She definately got the hang of it and would say "Thank You" when candy was placed in her basket. It started to get to heavy so she was dragging it by the end.

She and Jackson had a great time together

Claire: The Domesticated Princess :)
(Here she is throwing a fit because we told her we were leaving to go trick or treating and we had to put the lawn mower down)

Our family on Halloween

Trick or Treating at Grandma and Grandpa's house

Claire clearly having gotten into some chocolate :)

"If mom and dad aren't going to open this for me, then I am just going to chew on the wrapper until I get to the chocolate..."

The best TREAT of all... Grandpa Carroll home from the hospital on Halloween!!