Wednesday, November 21, 2012


This month, several of my friends have posted things they are thankful for each day on FaceBook. I'm not a fan of blowing up news feeds so here it is. First, I am thankful for my beautiful and talented wife. She is an incredible woman, an amazing mother, and reminds me of why life is wonderful every day. I am thankful for my son. Thankful for the opportunity to watch him grow and discover new things every day. Thankful for the sleepy smiles he gives me, the slobbery kisses, and thankful for the incredible feeling I get every time I see his face. I am thankful for my career. Thankful for the chance to impact and change lives and, on occasion, save one. Thankful that this year has provided me the opportunity to not only become a paramedic, but be promoted twice and earn the things that I worked so hard for. I am thankful for my friends. Thankful for old friends and new whom I owe much to. Thankful for laughs and good times, and often great meals. I am thankful for my family. Thankful for parents that have given me a direction and are there to help whenever I need it. Thankful for in laws who always make me feel at home. Thankful for all 100 Schadts, who make every holiday a party. The list may not seem long, but I have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


The summer after Devin and I got married, she was having a hard time adjusting to being home by herself a lot. When the situation was really becoming hard, a gift dropped into our laps. A coworker asked me if I wanted a dog. It seems that the dog was living with a woman who worked constantly and never had time to pay attention to her. After discussing with Devin, we decided to go pick her up and bring her into our family. The day we went to pick her up, I remember her being incredibly excited to see visitors and she seemed very content when we brought her to our home. Throughout the last five years, she has become a large part of our family. She has been a constant companion for both of us when we have dealt with infertility and the struggles of life. She has been a good listener when I don't want to admit I'm talking to myself. She has been a perfect warm blanket for Devin's perpetually cold feet. Never far from either of us, it's hard to imagine what our house will be like without her. I suppose that's why what comes next is so difficult. We both knew that having a baby would inevitably take some of our attention away from her but felt like after only a brief while, she would be worked back into the regular cycles of play and belly rubs. Unfortunately, she's been more left out than I care to admit and I feel terrible. She's taken to spending a lot of time moping and will rarely want to play when I do try to get her excited with her tennis ball. Still, I didn't believe it would be a problem until recently. Zander is becoming mobile and wants nothing more than to play with Lovie. She, on the other hand, is not amused and runs away from him when he follows her around the house. While comical at first, I can tell she has grown tired of the game. It started with a simple growl and today, for the first time since we've had her, she snapped at Zander. No harm was done and she didn't mean to hurt him but the message became clear. Keep this child away from me. I can't begin to describe the range of emotions I feel about this. Obviously, the both of us are devastated. While I don't want to get rid of her I can't, in good conscience, allow her to escalate the behavior with my son. I've spent most of the day considering and researching options that will allow us to keep her. I simply can't think about getting rid of her without being incredibly sad. Some of you may think it's silly to feel this way about an animal but I would contend that she is part of the family. In the five years she has lived with us, she has proven to have a personality, an intellect, and a love for us as well, if that's possible. In many ways, she was like a child to us in the years we were without. So the question becomes, what do we do now? I'm taking her to the vet tomorrow to make sure there's nothing bothering her that could be causing her behavior and hopefully pick their brain about the subject. I'm praying for answers and a plan of action that keeps our family together. I suppose that will have to do for now.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Irregularly Irregular

Hello friends, I know it's difficult to follow a blog that never has any new entries. Several times throughout the past couple years of doing this blog I've made new promises of blogging more frequently and posting more pictures. Unfortunately, this little piece of the internet takes a back seat to all of life's other time consuming activities when you have an all American, rambunctious 9 month old child at home. That's right... 9 months. It's pretty incredible. I think it would be impossible to try to summarize the last several months. So I'm not even going to try. What I can tell you, is that Zander is an amazing, funny, smart, crawling, toothy, chatty, awesome little boy and that Devin and I have a pretty great life. So, "where does this blog go from here?" you might ask. The answer to that question is unknown. I refuse to delete it completely though. For some reason it's cathartic to have a place to write and share. So, stay on board and every once in a while you might get a welcome surprise of a new blog and some great pictures.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The very big trip to the Zoo

A few weeks back we took Zander on his first zoo trip. We were very excited to take him and the weather was perfect for it but he slept the entire time and didn't allow for any pictures. So, with his new routine firmly in place we ventured back today and had a great time.
He saw some giraffes

Spent some quality time with Daddy

Had a picnic lunch

And crashed hard after the adventure was over

4 months and no blog, What's up with that?

Wow. It has come to my attention that is has been almost 4 months since I last blogged. I think it's impossible to get you completely caught up on everything but I can try. Since my last entry, life has definitely been happening. We've been wrapped up in the raising of our incredible son. Zander is now 4 months old and completely caught up from being a preemie. He is growing like a weed, eating baby food, sitting in a high chair, laughing, trying to talk, going to the zoo, riding around in his stroller without the car seat, sleeping through the night, and just all around being the best thing that has ever happened to either of us. If Mrs. Stewart reads this, I'm sorry but I'm tired and run on sentences just make things easier.

Devin has been back to work for quite a while now at Expressions By Devin and Zander likes to supervise. As for me, I've been quite busy myself. I've been working quite a bit and I've been promoted... twice. Starting Wednesday I'll be a Captain. It's kinda crazy. Oh yeah, and I started a company newsletter that most people seem to enjoy. So if you've wondered why I haven't blogged, now you know. I've had a few other things going on. I think I might be able to get back in the swing of updating here more often now that things are settling in to a routine.

Since it just wouldn't be a good blog without pictures here are some of my favorites from the past 4 months.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

As Promised.... Cuteness

For some reason we amassed a very large collection of hats for Zander. Here are just a few that I've managed to get good pictures of.
1. Hospital Classic In Blue

2. The Football Hat

3. The Ewok

4. The Polar Bear

5. The Holly Jolly Christmas (Also Zander's 1 Week Old Picture)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Might have missed an update or two

As many of you are aware, Zander decided to come into our lives a little earlier than expected. After experiencing sporadic pains last weekend we were rest assured that Devin was just experiencing warm up contractions and had nothing more than that on our mind as we went in for her 34-35 week checkup. Much to everyone's surprise, the doctor's most of all, it seemed that Devin was dilated and there may not be much time to stop labor. No breaking of the water, no increasing contractions, no feeling that this was really happening at all. Just boom ! This is happening today.

They hurried us along downstairs to labor and delivery where we were placed in triage to get some fluids and medicine to stave off the delivery. After feeling fine during most of those 2 hours we were hopeful that we would be going home and Devin would just be on bed rest until it was time to really have the baby. But Zander had other plans. After 2 hours and recheck it was evident Zander's birthday would be Monday.

More than a million things raced through my mind as we made the short trip down the hall to a delivery room. Knowing the potential complications associated with pre-term delivery I was very close to falling apart. Would he be big enough, strong enough, far enough along to make it on his own? Would he be whisked away to the NICU for treatment I couldn't begin to imagine. It was too soon. When we were alone for the first time all we could do is cry, and pray, and pray some more. For his protection, for our guidance and serenity.

Visitors helped to pass the time between rechecks. I think if we had been left alone to worry we would have drove ourselves crazy. After just a few short hours, an epidural that only seemed to work in her right leg, and visits from the NICU staff to explain what would be happening once he came out it seemed it was "Go Time" as our friend Drew put it.

I won't trouble you with the graphic details of the next part of this story. I will just say that it went very well. And for being able to feel 95% of the pain because of a misplaced epidural Devin was amazing.

My heart raced as the doctors got their first look at our son. The words that followed were the most wonderful words I had ever heard. "This is a much bigger baby than we thought." As the doctor from the NICU examined him he told me that he looked fantastic and for being early they couldn't find a reason to send him to the NICU. I could feel my heart beating in my chest. I couldn't hide the fact that I was crying tears of joy for our miracle. Of course, being premature has it's complications. Feeding a baby thats just learning how to suck was the hardest part of the next 36 hours. (And the next few days at home for that matter) They had already informed us that our amazing Humana would force Devin to leave Wednesday morning because he had been born before midnight. We would be leaving with or without Zander. After an incredible team of nurses at Suburban spent hours with us and with him he hit all the milestones to come home at the same time that we did. It's amazing how things developed. So many things could have gone wrong at each different stage and he was here, healthy, and heading home... truly miraculous.

As I sit here now, in a sleepless night stupor, it's hard to believe we've already had him for an entire week. I guess when you fill your days with visitors, feedings, diaper changes, and an occasional insomnia induced coma time seems to fly by. Today we are taking him to the pediatrician for his 1 week check up. I'm just praying they don't want us to go back to the hospital. Praying that whatever we're doing for him seems to be the right thing. Wish us luck.

Warning! Blogs from this point on will have a cuteness factor of 10+. You've been warned.