Saturday, August 28, 2010

From 1.25 lbs to 1.25 years

Bryce turned 15 months old (actual) on Thursday, and although he's been able to squeeze into his Carters for a little more than "just one year", I'm happy to say that he's exceeded all of our expectations during his first year at home.

His seemingly insatiable appetite belies his physique. At 20 lbs, 4 ounces, Bryce is in the 50th percentile ... for an 8-month old. He can eat two slices of pizza for dinner followed by a second dinner of fruits/veggies and baby cereal two hours later, but he hasn't been able to break out of the high teens on the growth charts (for his adjusted age). Thankfully, his growth has been consistent, and that's the most important part.

The little guy is still very vocal, but I don't expect him to talk anytime soon. Currently, "ba" is his favorite consonant sound, "da"'s are rare, and "ma ma" is reserved for when he's really upset. We were thrilled when we discovered that he'll mimic us when we say "ba ba ba", because that indicates that his language skills are progressing, and it's hilarious when he tries to imitate us but forgets to make the sound so he just ends up popping his lips.

Walking, on the other hand, seems like it's right around the corner. Bryce will walk pretty steadily while holding on to one of Mommy or Daddy's hands for fairly long distances, and he's just starting to take one or two faltering steps unassisted (say, from the couch to the ottoman). In general, I'd say his physical development is right on target or possibly even a little beyond his adjusted age.

Of course, there's much more to Bryce than just charts and milestones. He's still an extremely happy baby who brightens all of our lives. He loves being outside, playing in the water, and doing just about anything with his big brother. With the exception of diaper-changing time, which he fights with the ferocity of a cornered animal, Bryce is laid back and easy to care for.

With Fall moving in, we're anxiously anticipating the return of cold & flu season. In fact, Bryce is currently enduring his first cold since May. So far, he's tolerating it well, but we did have to dust off the nebulizer on Wednesday. Fortunately, we found an outstanding nanny to care for Bryce while we're both at work, so his lungs will have another year to grow healthy tissue before he'll be exposed to the germ breeding ground known as daycare.

Based on the dearth of posts, most of Bryce's followers have probably already guessed that (a) our lives are getting busier and (b) Bryce's life has become blessedly ordinary. I'll continue to post updates from time to time, especially if we encounter anything that might be of interest to future preemie parents, but if you don't hear from us for awhile, you can assume that Bryce is thriving and we're enjoying life!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Breaking the silence

Ba ba ba. Ba ba ba ba ba! Ba ba ba ba!

No, I haven't lost it completely. It's just such a welcome sound that I felt it was worth repeating. On Wednesday, Bryce spontaneously unleashed a stream of consonants, and we've been enjoying his newly discovered vocalizations on a regular basis since then.

Bryce's speech therapist told us to expect these sorts of sounds at around 6 months adjusted, and by 8-9 months adjusted, he was officially "delayed." His pediatrician told us we needn't be concerned, since he was probably just putting all his energy into his excellent progress on physical milestones, but after everything we've seen and heard, "don't worry" is a tall order.

I'm pretty sure I heard a "da da da da" earlier in the day; that first word is just around the corner! ;)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Turning one is oh-so-fun

Sixty of Bryce's family and friends joined us on Saturday evening for Bryce's first "birthday" and "baptism" celebration. In truth, Bryce is midway between his actual birth date and his adjusted birthday, and he was already baptized in the NICU, but the timing worked well and we wanted everyone to have an opportunity to join us for his special day. Besides, we hardly need an excuse to celebrate our little squeaker.

The man of the hour was all giggles and smiles for nearly the entire day, and his good humor was infectious in spite of the muggy weather. Bryce is our water baby, so we weren't too surprised when he passed on the inflatable moonwalk bouncer, which was towering over our house, in favor of his new pool. In fact, he gave everyone a good laugh when he tried to start the party with a splash by diving headfirst into the baptismal font.

Best of all, he got to have his cake and eat it too. Thanks to all who helped make Bryce's special day a success. We hope you had a great evening!