Sunday, June 27, 2010


What a difference a year makes! That's true for all babies, of course, but it's hard to believe that the tiny baby who spent every moment of last June on the cusp of life and death is the same baby who's spent this June hitting one milestone after another.

Bryce had his "one year" (nine month, by our count) check-up last week, and I think the pediatrician was as dumbfounded as we are. After a cursory exam, he asked Christie if Bryce could sit unassisted. "Ummm... yeaah," she replied. Before he could move to the next question on the list, Bryce crawled over to Christie, pulled himself to standing, and proceeded to walk while holding on to Christie's fingers. Physical development? A++. (Yes, he climbed up on the step in the picture by himself. He was trying to climb over the gate.)

We're still waiting for Bryce to make his first sound that isn't a cry, a squeak, or a growl, but given how well he's progressing in other areas, no one seems concerned. It's probably imitation at this stage, but he's started waving to the two of us and he'll even give out kisses. Now that he's sitting, crawling and standing, he's perfectly content to spend long stretches of time exploring the world on his own, which has made our lives much easier (assuming we've done a good job of baby-proofing the place he's exploring, that is). Logan and Bryce get along great together, and it's heartwarming to see the two of them playing.

Bryce has started eating a wider variety of table foods, including some meat and even the dreaded dairy (cheddar cheese). So far, we haven't had any problems with allergies, aversions or choking. More importantly, he's been growing like a weed: 18.75 lbs (17th percentile) and 28 inches (32nd percentile) at 9 months adjusted.

The little guy had a follow-up appointment at the ENT a few weeks back, and the doc decided that he will not need surgery for the cleft palate. Better yet, I noticed early last week that he's not wheezing anymore! We're not really sure when it stopped, but I think it's been at least a month, which bodes well for the condition of his lungs/windpipe.

So, it seems that Bryce has officially conquered all of his preemie challenges. My heart quails at the audacity of such a statement, because after all that we've seen, I simply cannot believe that our 24-weeker escaped the NICU with nothing more than a pair of glasses and a few scars. Either he won the micro-preemie lottery, or he really does have an angel on his shoulder. One way or the other, we're grateful for a happy, healthy June.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Anniversary

It's funny how a number on a calendar can evoke a torrent of memories which have been oh-so-carefully repressed. I doubt a day has passed in which my daughter has not crossed my mind, but her presence today is almost palpable.

This is the only picture we have of Chloe with her eyes open. It's not a particularly good picture; I hate to look at all the tubes and wires, but the little daisy always makes me smile.

Rest in peace, Princess.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

We're back!

If the two weeks of silence were starting to worry Bryce's fans, let me put your fears to rest: the little guy is doing fantastic. We spent the past week enjoying, and the preceding week preparing for, our first long vacation in close to two years. After a long Memorial Day weekend followed by the past seven days at the lake, everyone except Bryce is a little less pale and a lot more relaxed.

Someone forgot to give Bryce the memo about our week of idleness, because he's been working hard on all sorts of new things. He's crawling on all fours now, spends a lot of time standing, and is starting to figure out cruising. His first tooth (bottom) popped through last Saturday night, and although he was unusually fussy on Sunday, he was cheery as always for the rest of the week in spite of the fact that he cut his second tooth (right next to the first) a few days later. He loved playing with his family both inside and out, and best of all, he hasn't had so much as the sniffles for the entire month.

The only drama of the week occurred during our attempts to visit the Alexandria YMCA, which has a new zero-depth pool. On our first try, we didn't even set foot in the water, as we were asked to shelter in the men's locker room for forty-five minutes due to dangerous tornadoes in the area. The next day was a lot better; both kids loved the pool, but we're a bit concerned about Bryce's apparent lack of a self-preservation gene. When placed in water a few inches deep, he would resolutely crawl towards the deeper end of the pool. When the water reached his shoulders, he didn't stop. When the water reached his chin, he didn't stop. When the water reached his nose, he didn't stop. I'm not sure what would've happened if we'd allowed this to continue, but we're starting to think that maybe our water baby loves the pool a little too much.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Road trip

Bryce and family spent Memorial Day weekend in paradise!

Ok, maybe I'm overselling it a bit, but it was a lot of fun. We had planned for Logan and I to go fishing up north for quite some time, but Christie decided at the last minute that she wanted to come with too. The car was a little cramped, but Bryce endured four hours on the road with hardly any complaining. We didn't think he was ready for the boat yet, but he had a great time exploring the cabin and the beach. Two days of sun, sand and the serene beauty of the north woods was a welcome (albeit all too short) escape for everyone.

As you can see in the video, Bryce is becoming a lot more mobile. He recently started climbing over short stairs and even pulling himself up to standing. His increased independence has been a blessing as he'll entertain himself for short periods, but we've also reached the stage where we can't even really turn our back for a second, because like most babies, he seems to have a gift for finding the one thing within his reach that shouldn't go in his mouth.