Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunny Side Up

Looking back at the posts over the past year or so, I realized that my reports on Bryce's progress have slowly evolved from a story of hope, that focused on the few bright spots in a deluge of bad news, to a story of anxiety that all too often lingered on his few remaining prematurity-related challenges. This is *not* the message that I want to send to future preemie parents, many of whom will have to cope with serious difficulties long after they leave the NICU. So, I'm going to make an effort to post more updates about the happy times that dominate our lives. We don't know what tomorrow will bring, but today, life with Bryce is very good.

Bryce is sixteen months old (adjusted), and every bit a toddler. He is walking almost exclusively, but he's still working on his balance, so his forehead has been decorated by a bruise in one spot or another for the past month. Bryce is very different from his big brother in that he has absolutely no fear and climbs on everything. We've had to remove furniture from the house so that he doesn't break his neck! If you have children who watch Dora the Explorer, you'll understand why the phrase "Climber, no climbing!" is oft-repeated around here.

Bryce has a natural love for music that I find remarkable. Almost every time he hears music, Bryce start dancing to the tune. I don't mean just bob your head and shuffle your feet dancing -- this boy knows how to boogie (didn't get that from me)! His favorite dance moves include a rhythmic chopping of his arm, a flexing of the knees that resembles a mini-squat, and a full 360 degree spin. The latter is especially comical because he does it so quickly that he can barely keep his balance, so he always looks like he's just about to fall. His frequent glances at Mom and Dad to make sure they're watching suggests he's also something of a showman (didn't get that from me either).

Our little squeaker has moved on from squeaking, but still doesn't have any actual words. He does make a number of sounds ("ma", "da", "ee", "ooo"), and he applies some sounds consistently. When he's driving a toy car he'll make a "vrroom" sound, and when he eats something he doesn't like he says "eck" before he spits it out. His understanding of language is also extremely good. If he hears the word "bath", he'll make a beeline for the bathtub even if it's clear across the house. If you ask for a kiss, he'll grab your face, turn it to the side, and plant his lips on your cheek. Bryce also knows the sign for "please", and uses it consistently to indicate that he wants something.

Two sounds that we've heard all too often this winter are Bryce coughing and Bryce wheezing. It seems like he's had a cold since November, and its intensity ebbs and flows. We've been giving him a preventitive inhaled steroid (Pulmicort) once a day and his regular bronchodilator (Albuterol) multiple times per day for the entire winter. There have been a couple periods when he was congested enough to warrant an oral steroid and broad-spectrum antibiotics as well, but even then his oxygen sats we're remarkably high. Enduring 10-15 minutes with the nebulizer multiple times per day is a challenge for Mommy, Daddy and Bryce, but he has not been fighting quite as ferociously since we started allowing him to watch TV during the ordeal. The good news is that we've very optimistic that he'll be one of those preemies who outgrows the worst of his Chronic Lung Disease by age 3 or so.

Bryce is still a very picky eater. The foods that he'll eat consistently include bananas, Kraft Mac N Cheese, Pizza and Oreo cookies. This limited diet is not for want of a variety of foods; when presented with whatever Mom and Dad are having for dinner, his typical reaction is to start throwing it on the floor. He is better about eating his vegetables than his big brother, which means he'll eat one green bean instead of turning his nose up at everything. Like their father, both boys love sweet potatoes (especially with a little brown sugar), but like their mother, neither will come near broccoli. We're moving in the right direction on the weight issue, so at least we know he's not starving: he's up half a pound to 21.5 lbs.

Finally, I don't think anyone will be surprised to learn that the boys had a wonderful Christmas, received far more toys than they needed, and are loving every one of them. Happy 2011 to all our readers! Print this post

1 comment:

  1. What joy! What a gift!!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    The boys are so full of joy. It shows in their smiles and grace.

    What a future they will have.
    Love to all!