Monday, December 28, 2009

December 28, 2009: Two Years Old

Bronson is two years old today and we think he decided to be "terrible" for the fun of it. Honestly, we think that he might be teething or something because he spent the entire day being incredibly cranky for Kyle and Ann. I had to work, which really sucked. It was hard to not be with my little birthday boy for the day. His only request for his birthday was that I bring him frenchfries and cheese. When I pulled the frenchfries out of the bag and didn't immediatley produce the cheeseburger he demanded to know where it was. He is getting great at telling us no. He has also became quite the talker the past couple of weeks and his favorite phrase is, "what's this." We think that it is absolutely adorable each time his little cheeks puff out when he asks us something. He loves his family and finds it really funny to make nicknames up for each member. He has recently been calling Grandpa Kerfoot just plain Cookie because he remembers that he gives him cookies. It really has melted his heart. We were blessed by a special visit this year for Christmas and have gotten to spend an entire week with Grandpa Kerfoot. It has been extremely special for our entire family.

Bronson loved Christmas this year! He really got into the presents, but more importantly we took the time to tell him the story of Christmas. We took him out last week to see the live nativity in Dallas and he was enthralled by the live baby Jesus. It was super cute. He also loves the song Silent Night and can now sing most of the words along with anyone who wishes to sing with him. This age is so magical and Kyle and I wanted to do as much as possible to create wonderful Christmas memories with him.

Some of Bronson's quick facts are:

-Weight somewhere near 26 pounds
-No idea how tall he is (He wears 18 months and almost 2 t's)
-Loves cheese
-Loves and hates the vacuum
-Loves to mop and dust
-Loves to color
-Loves horses which he calls sheshoes
-Loves his family
-Has a vocabulary of well over 50-100 words
-Favorite activity, sports and dancing

2009: Pictures in Review

It is amazing to think that our little man is two years old today. It seems like only yesterday that I was being reunited with my little preemie and the nurses were handing him to me in my hospital bed admist the activity of the NICU. Bronson's birth has blessed me in so many ways. I can't even imagine my life without him in it. He holds a very special part of my heart. I thought that in addition to his monthly stats that I would provide a quick journey of the year with a few photos. The captions are at the bottom of the pictures.

December 28, 2009: Bronson turns 1!!!

January 2009: Olivia and Bronson being pulled on the blanket

Watching for daddy to get home, starting to pull himself up and walk around walls...
January 2009

Still not walking on his own, February 2009

First time riding in carseat facing forward: Febuary 26, 2009

March 2009: First Ride on the Merry Go Round in Salem

Bronson walks for the 1st time on March 22, 2009

1st Trip to the Beach with Ya-Ya and Papa (April 2009)

Easter 2009: Sick with the flu

Pictures with Olivia in front yard for Easter: April 2009

March for Babies: April 2009

Had overnighter with Yaya and Papa while Mommy and Daddy went to Sunriver: May 2009

Mommy and Daddy (Weekend Away): May 2009

1st Corvette Ride: June 2009

So excited for the 1st Vette Ride

1st Bike: June 2009

Playing on the beach: July 2009

At Summerfest with Miss Jenn: July 2009

Playing in the river with Daddy: August 2009

Olivia and Bronson: September 2009

Daddy and Bronson headed to coast alone: September 2009

Carving Pumpkins with family: October 2009

Fall Pic taken by Mommy: November 2009

Christmas 2009

December 26, 2009: 2nd Birthday Party

December 28, 2009 with Papa Cookie eating his requested meal of McDonald's

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Feeling a little tired...

These last couple of weeks have been a stir of emotions. Our family just returned from Redmond this past weekend to celebrate the life of Kyle's Grandma Kerfoot. She went to be our Lord on December 8th. We pray daily for Grandpa Kerfoot to find peace admist his sadness. They were married three months shy of 66 years. Kyle and I both didn't realize until the funeral that they started dating in high school too. It is a true testament that if you build your marriage on a strong foundation it doesn't matter how young when you start out. I fall more in love with my husband on a daily basis.

Listening to the stories of Grandma's life reminded me to model the behavior that she exhibited daily. Love others more than yourself and Love the Lord. She was such a true testimony of faith. She will be so missed, yet I know that I will see her again. I treasure the thought that she is now spending time with loved ones and cuddling on our two baby angels.

Kyle and I finally got the chance to decorate the tree last night. I guess I should clarify that Kyle and Bronson decorated the tree. I came down with the terrible sickness that Bronson has and went to the ER for this past weekend, so I spent the evening capturing the memories on the video camera. Kyle and I relished that our little boy knew exactly how to decorate a tree and after some prompting starting spreading out the ornaments. Our tree is so special this year because of the little hands that helped to decorate it. It is shy quite a few of our special ornaments, but all the more special because we want Bronson to enjoy the tree without worrying about ornaments being broken. We put the ornaments that allow us to remember Lindsay and Jackson in areas of the house that Bronson can't touch. For some reason he has found a huge liking to a Christmas framed picture of us on our wedding day. He keeps running up to it and pullling it down to kiss it. I think it is pretty cute.

Bronson is no longer going to daycare. There were quite a few of issues and after a quick discussion all parties decided it wasn't the best fit for him. We are now in the process of looking for someone that wants to spend three days a week with our son. I am going to handle this situation with tons of prayer. It was such an emotional day for me when I realized that my son was unhappy with the place he spent such a great deal of time at. We spent the day together today and when I asked him if he loved hanging out with mommy he said a very positive yes. We are working hard on making some lifestyle adjustments so that someday in the future I am able to stay home with our family. Part of these adjustments include a lot of cooking even when I am tired. I actually love to cook when I have the time and I think that Kyle is getting used to having different types of food prepared for him.

As we enter the week before Christmas I am reminded that the reason for this season is the birth of Jesus. Please remember to thank Him for the family, faith, and friends that you have. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 7, 2009

23 months a little late...

In only 20 days my baby boy will be 2 years old. Kyle and I just asked ourselves this evening where our baby had went? It was another rough day at daycare. I have almost come to the conclusion that Bronson is just a little more attached than some. I don't know if he will ever get used to being left under someone else's care for the entire day. I am having major mommy guilt. I keep telling myself that sometime in the near future things will get better and I might be able to stay at home. None of us can go without insurance so there is no choice but to get out there and log 40 hours a week. I know that I am a good mommy; I just struggle when I know that he just wants to cuddle up and be loved on. We spent this afternoon snuggled up together and enjoyed taking the time to read The Polar Express before bed. I don't want to jinx it but he is now sleeping soundly in his own bed. Kyle and I are trying to lay down a little more rules in regards to his sleeping routine.

Bronson is growing like crazy and officially weighs 26 pounds. I don't know how tall he is now, but he is almost able to wear size 2T so that gives you a little clue. I think that he seems to take after his Grandpa Bill and looks to have his build. He is such a sweet boy and I love every minute that I get to spend with him. We have been having a lot going on lately with some family issues. Kyle's Grandma Kerfoot, one of the sweetest women I have ever known, is really struggling and between Ann, Bill, and Kyle there have been lots of trips made over the pass. It is never easy to deal with end of life issues. I am praying for lots of peace. I am also comforted in knowing that Grandma Kerfoot is one of the strongest Christian women that I know and will be with the Lord soon. Please pray for our family as we deal in this sensitive time.

On to the Highlights:
-Bronson is talking all the time. Some of it we don't understand, but we love the fact that he tries to say everyone's names now and can say all of his friends names.
-He is obsessed with the song "Muffin Man" by pronounces it manman. It is super cute, but annoying to listen to all at the same time.
-He still loves the vacuum, but now has a pet name for it too and calls it the Abyer. We think he might be trying to call it the spider because daddy sucked one of them up in it.
-He loves stuffed animals and can name pretty much all of the major animals.
-He has began to potty train and is very interested in wearing pull ups.
-He has the clean gene and loves to mop, sweep, and dust our entire house. You have to keep the wipes put away or he will use all of them to "help" mommy.
-He has so many teeth that I can't count. I think he has somewhere between 12 and 14.
-He still doesn't eat much, but loves num nums.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fight for Preemies: November 17, 2009

In order to honor the preemie of my life, please visit the first post after he was born. We were such proud parents. To clarify his weight was actually 2 pounds, 3.4 ounces and he was more than 10 weeks premature. I am happy to report that our little man has grown quite well and is now pushing the scales at close to 26 pounds and not even 2 years old. We are looking forward to celebrating his 2nd birthday next month along with some family and close friends. Praise God for answered prayers! Our boy had a strong fight, but our prayers were answered and we have been blessed with a wonderful, healthy, and happy son.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I love being a mommy!

Yesterday was November 6th. You might be thinking...why is she telling me the date of yesterday? Well, November 6th is an infamous day for me. It is the day 2 years ago that I was put on OFFICIAL bedrest to try to save my little baby Jackson's life. Sadly, 12 days later his eternal soul went to rest in the arms of God. A month and 22 days later I delivered my most perfect blessing in the world, Bronson. It was such a day of mixed emotions; I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this little guy and I would become inseperable.

Well, nearly a month ago I had to start working full-time outside our home. It was a decision that Kyle and I did not take lightly. It would be wonderful for me to be able to stay at home full-time, but when you have to pay thousands in medical bills and continue to keep medical insurance on your entire family it really isn't an option. We are slowly moving toward a debt free lifestyle and I first big step was the sale of our mustang. I think it was kind of hard for Kyle, but we both feel an incredible weight lifted off of our shoulders. It has really allowed us to put a little money aside to feel comfortable again.

Bronson is slowly adapting to daycare. He has had the added advantage of two full weeks being watched by family due to him being sick and then the closure of his daycare last week because of the flu. It is very hard to leave him, but I am very blessed to have found an awesome couple that watches them in their home in Philomath. It almost seems like I am taking him to another set of grandparents instead of daycare. It is making me treasure Saturday mornings so much. I just love to snuggle this little guy up and whisper to him all the promises of his parents love for him. I am beginning to be able to give myself a little break, that he is not suffering because I have to work.

Yesterday was hard...I just wanted to be with my baby. It dawned on me during lunch why the day was bothering me so much. I wanted to snuggle him up and whisper secrets, but I had to fulfill my obligations first. As soon as the duties were over, I raced home to spend some time with him. He greeted me at the door full of smiles and happiness. I am so blessed to be his mommy!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Priceless Picture

I love this little boy so much!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

22 Months: I love double digits!

We can hardly believe it. Bronson will be 2 years old in 2 months. I find myself pinching myself when I realize that sooner than later my “baby” will be more of a big boy than baby. He is growing so quickly and Kyle and I remark daily on how much fun it is to have a toddler in the house. Kyle even thinks that he is a 5 year old trapped in a baby’s body. He definitely has a sense of humor. We love watching him play jokes on us and others in the family.

We have started a new chapter in our lives and Bronson is now attending day care full-time. I am working in Corvallis for Samaritan Health Plans and he is going to daycare in Philomath. The first couple of weeks were rough due to him catching a cold, but he really seems to be enjoying himself this week quite a bit. He really likes the new little baby and I secretly think that it is pretty neat that his new little friend has the name, Jackson. It is neat to hear my baby boy talk about little Jack. He also has a new little girlfriend that is only 16 months old, but at least 2 inches taller than him. I am glad to know that he is being well taken care of and that I can relax while at work.

We haven’t done a whole lot this month, but while looking back at the pictures I realize that we did go to the pumpkin patch for the first time. Airlie Family Farms was wonderful! I think that we will try to make it a tradition. Bronson was a little grumpy that day due to lack of sleep, but we still managed to have quite a bit of fun. Our biggest discovery of the day besides purchasing a 33 pound pumpkin was finding out that Bronson breaks out in a rash and gets puffy eyes from hay.

Highlights of Bronson:

 Bronson did weigh 26 pounds but lost some weight due to sickness and is back to 24 pounds.

 He now measures as a size 7 in shoes, but his favorite new rubber boots are size 5.

 He is beginning to potty train and went poop and pee in the potty on Saturday for the 1st time.

 He LOVES to dance!!! This kid could listen to music all day if we let him.

 His favorite cartoon is Ni Hao, Kai-lan. He can repeat all the Chinese words on the show. We like to think that he remembers some Chinese from his fairy godmother, Snow.

 He is a CLEAN FREAK…if he makes any kind of mess; he immediately runs to the drawer and gets a towel to clean it up. Next to dancing he loves to sweep or vacuum.

 He can pretty much say anything, but his new favorite word this month is Malachi (the little boy that lives across the street.)

 He LOVES babies. We had the great opportunity to watch Gavin a few days this month and I swear Bronson behaved the best on these days. He is so gentle and tells Kyle and I all the time that he wants a baby. Sorry little man, no babies in the near future.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I know some of you will panic at the sight of a toddler holding a gun. Don’t worry, it is fake. We are experiencing a whole new thing at our house right now as Bronson slowly begins to pretend to be a miniature version of his daddy. His new favorite things, next to baseball, are “boom booms.” All of our real guns remained locked under super security. It began a couple of weeks ago when Kyle and Bronson were relaxing in bed watching, “Guns and Ammo.” Bronson came downstairs holding one of our miniature disc guns that we use in Sunriver. He was referring to it as a "boom boom." The original site made me startle a little. I thought it would be later that this interest would become my son’s hobby, but we are already starting.

Kyle and I both remain pro-gun Americans and feel that it is a parent’s decision whether or not to have guns in their homes. We also believe strongly that it is also the responsibility of ALL parents to teach their kids about gun safety regardless of whether or not they own guns. It is often a child at someone else’s house that finds a gun and doesn’t realize what not to do because of lack of such discussions. We are very serious about providing safety and security for our guns and teaching our son the respect of gun safety. Kyle and I both grew up in homes with guns and learned at a young age to NEVER touch a gun without a parent’s permission. This is my new it too early for him to be playing with fake guns?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Leaving evidence behind...

Bronson keeps leaving me clues that he is becoming a big boy and much taller. Today I found a dryer sheet in the bathroom that had a door shut and cook books on his high chair tray. Yesterday I found a pudding snack laid out on the counter for his snack. I asked if he put it there and he proudly shook his head yes. I just love this little boy and watching his daily adventures.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Little Snuggle Bug

I have probably mentioned before how affectionate Bronson is. It seems as he gets older that he continues to love hugs and kisses, but now he will actually ask for them. My favorite phrase to hear is, "Mama, you." This is short for mama, I need you. It is always accompanied by his little pudgy fingers outstretched waiting for his next hug. I also love when I see love in his eyes and he randomly reaches up to give me a little kiss. I always prayed for a cuddly baby and I have received 10 times more than I had hoped for.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Where is the spellcheck?

You might have noticed that I am not blogging as often. I can't figure out this new blogger program. If anyone can tell me where the spellcheck is that would be great and why I uploaded 5 pictures, but only 1 shows up.


Yes our son celebrated his 21er by driving his parents crazy. (Maybe a pre-cursor of his real 21st) He is hitting the terrible 2's early and it has been making life VERY difficult. Kyle and I tried to treat him to his favorite restaurant of Red Robin today, but 7 minutes into our lunch date with daddy we had to make a detour and ask them to pack our food to go. Our life is slowly changing as our baby becomes a little boy with lots of energy. This phase of his development is taking adjustment and a lot of patience. Did I say patience? Yes, and since I am married to the most patient man in the world I must say that he is even being tested by Bronson's recent fit throwing. We have spent many recent evenings changing our plans to make room for his possible attitude.

On a much lighter note, Bronson is growing up so extremely fast. He is getting so smart and big. We have even had people comment that is beginning to look a little like a football player. This is a great compliment. For a kid that doesn't eat much, he sure looks healthy. He has been in Sunday School Nursery for the past 2 weeks and really seems to like it. I am really looking forward to his next round of measurements, because I have a feeling that he is getting close to 25 pounds and is starting to get taller too.

I don't have recent measurements, but Papa weighed him a couple of weeks ago and he was 24 pounds. He is also wearing 5 1/2 size shoes. He has pretty big feet. He has a very long torso and is beginning to get longer legs. His body is going through major changes. I try to blame this for the reason of his behavior.

Some things about Bronson:

-He talks all the time and will copy anything you say, but doesn't talk much to members outside his immediate family.
-He LOVES baseball. He informed his Auntie Christen that he will not play football, but wants to play baseball. (Cute little time they had together)
-He loves the word No and uses it for the word No and Nose. It is pretty cute.
-Instead of saying yes, he says sure.
-He loves balloon and currently has a collection of 3 in his playroom for the suckers that can't resist his love for balloons.

-He gives the best hugs and kisses and has a routine where he asks everyvnight for a mama hug.
-He thinks that he can drive and gives daddy a super hard time when he doesn't allow him some car time everyday.
-LOVES macaroni and cheese and would eat it for ever meal if I let him.

He doesn't like:
-Being told no
-Being babied by his cousin Olivia anymore
-Veggies lately
-staying inside all day

Monday, September 14, 2009

NICU Education

Lots has been happening in our busy lives. I am no longer employed. I did not get the job that I was waiting patiently for the answer. I firmly believe that God has bigger and better plans for me and I am waiting for His direction for my future. I am beginning to really enjoy my alone time that I get to spend with Bronson. In the first couple of days I was so stressed that I wasn't taking the time to be thankful for this special time. I was then reminded that everything works out for a reason and this job furlow was allowing me to take time to find Bronson a great place to be during the days and me more time to be comfortable with the idea of him being in a day care situation.

Last week I had the opportunity to work in the nursery for the afternoon. It was one of the most stressful situations that I have been in for a long time. I could not get over the germ factor. My heart was racing so fastly that I thought I might pass out from sweating so much. When I calmly explained this to one mom, she kind of laughed and thought I was being funny about the germs. I got kind of offended and explained that my history with Bronson being a NICU baby had lots to do with my feelings. I realized than that I might never get over being a NICU mom. I get tired of people questioning why we don't go to church. I get tired of when we go to church being questioned why we don't put Bronson in nursery. We have our reasons. I really don't feel that our emotions can be explained in a short answer. I panic at the mere thought of Bronson getting sick. When other parents can brush off a common cold or flu bug I become super intense and pray so very hard that it passes quickly. I guess that I am sometimes waiting for the other shoe to drop. I don't spend all day worrying about something happening to Bronson, yet I don't throw caution to the wind and believe that he is invincible. I know that anything is capable of happening and that God's little children are His first and foremost and I am getting the wonderful opportunity to raise Bronson for the Lord.

I guess I am writing this blog to quickly remind those that before making judgement on anyone's parenting style, please ask yourself if you have been in their situation and secondly, would you want them to question your parenting styles? I have attached a recent blog from one of my favorite NICU support blogs. Yes, I still belong to them. Bronson is a healthy boy, but I am still not able to live a single day without thanking God for the miracle of allowing him to be here with Kyle and I.

A blog from one of my favorite blogs, Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop...

One of the things that stuck with both my husband and me after our NICU experience was the feeling that something else was going to happen, or to use the old expression, we kept "waiting for the other shoe to drop" or waiting for something else to develop, something else to show up that was initially missed.

For me getting back to normal was gradual. When my NICU survivor was 2-years-old I started working on an article on "Identifying, Understanding, and Working with Grieving Parents in the NICU" that was published soon after she turned three. Writing about the experience was a way for me to put it into some perspective.

By the time she was in preschool we were able to see that she was meeting her milestones and not suffering from any undiagnosed learning disability.

We had a couple of scares along the way, but with time eventually began to realize that she would not "break like a China doll" and that the other shoe was not going to drop.

Others Feel the Fear and Anxiety as Well

Part of what helped me in getting over the feeling that something else was going to happen was discovering others also felt the same way. Over the years I have discovered that it is common for NICU Parents to continue to feel anxious and fearful that something may happen to the NICU child or to others in their family. It is also common for parents to experience flashbacks to their time in the NICU. Unexpected, sudden losses do that to people. They leave us feeling afraid and even vulnerable.

Former NICU Parent and NICU Parent Researcher Dr. Michael Hynan answers the question often asked of parents "Will I ever get over this [NICU experience]?" in this way:

No, you will not get over this completely. It is normal for you to feel the after shocks of this emotional earthquake.

Many of us high-risk parents have this vulnerability and these flashbacks to the NICU. And we also know that terror usually returns only briefly, and most of the time we can manage it as long as we realize that it is not unusual.

Dr. Hynan and colleagues in their research over the years discovered that these flashbacks and vulnerability are more common that most professionals expect.

Story Behind the Expression

I've often heard the expression "waiting for the other shoe to drop" and wondered where it originated. On the alt.usage.english website I was able to confirm that the phrase means "to await an event causally linked to one that one has already observed". In the form "drop the other shoe", meaning "say the next obvious thing" or "end the suspense."

The best explanation for the origin for the expression was it was based on an old joke.

A guest who checked into an inn one night was warned to be quiet because the guest in the room next to his was a light sleeper. As he undressed for bed, he dropped one shoe, which, sure enough, awakened the other guest. He managed to get the other shoe off in silence, and got into bed. An hour later, he heard a pounding on the wall and a shout:

"When are you going to drop the other shoe?"

Ending Our Suspense as NICU Parents

We were luckier than many NICU parents in that our NICU survivor did not have any major residual or on going problems. Her lungs were fine, her eyesight was good, she was meeting her milestones. I think by the time she was three we stopped worrying all of the time that something else would surface and slowly stopped listening for the other shoe to drop.

The scars from her IV's have begun fading with time, but will always be there, as will our scars from experiencing the NICU as parents. ( I like that the author mentions these scars, I take the time each day when I wash Bronson's little hands to notice his scars on his wrists and ankles and the ones across his stomach, it is a constant reminder that our Lord is so good to us. I have a beautiful son.)


Hynan M. Helping Parents Cope with a High-Risk Birth: Terror, Grief, Impotence, and Anger. Parent Care Conference.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Under Construction

Please excuse the mess, but I am trying to make my blog look a bit better. It will be back to shape in a couple of days.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Recap of August 2009

My sweet boy on the way home from Redmond
He loves to wear ya-ya's glasses, daddy hates this

I love his smile.

Helping daddy clean the floor

He fell asleep eating his Arby's sandwich

On the Deets Farm

Loving Cousins

I finally have a moment to capture the events of our last month. Bronson is officially 20 months and weighs a whopping 23.2 pounds and measures 31 1/2 inches long. He is beginning to look a little stocky; some might say like a future football player. Bronson continues to amaze us daily. His vocabulary is growing and he is beginning to get quite the attitude. Sometimes this attitude tends to also put his mommy in a fussy mood, but I am working on establishing a routine with him while I have some permanent time off.

I lost my job on the 31st of August and am in the waiting game for official word from my dream job. It will mean that I have to go back to work full-time, but I am beginning to get a bit of cabin fever and slowly realizing that I need to work to keep my sanity. I love my son more than anything and feel guilty about admitting the needed break, but I did go to school to work in the area of Criminal Justice and I really want to use my education.

Some new things about Bronson: He can now say over 25 words, but refuses to talk in front of anyone other than family. He loves the vacuum and broom and wants to use them all of the time. He can climb on the couch all by himself. He loves animals. He is still a total mommy's boy, but jumps immediately into daddy's arms when he hears the door open. He isn't a big eater, but loves macaroni and cheese and any fruit.
Bronson doesn't listen to the word no. He loves to test his mommy's patience. He is extremely intelligent, but has selective hearing when something comes out of mommy's mouth. He is a pure joy, but also a pure patience tester. I am beginning to think that we are entering the 2's early. Oh lovely day!!!
August Highlights: Trip to Enchanted Forest, Fair, Swimming trips to river, Stayed overnight for 3 day weekend with grandma and grandpa, Chipped his front teeth, and went for a visit to Redmond to visit Great Grandparents.