Saturday, January 30, 2010

No wonder I don't get much done....

It's been a long, busy week! Seems like we're always doing something, people coming over or we're going somewhere. When we are home, I just want to relax and either be online or play with the kids!

On Sunday I bought a toybox off Craigslist. It's a lot bigger than the old one and fits the bigger toys. We did get a few things done that day. Dawson's teacher came over on Monday. That went well. Dawson recognized her right away and grinned. He then ran over and sat down where they sat last week. He sorted shapes perfectly, matched colors and did some puzzles pretty easily too. He really enjoyed the hour. I went through his toys a bit. I'm trying to get the sets of things together and in separate containers so I can bring them out when he wants them and get them put away again, instead of them just laying all over the place.

Here's the new toybox compared to the old one!
Tyler had an appointment at the Children's Clinic on Tuesday. My mom came and picked up Dawson at 8am. He happily ran outside and stood by the sliding door of her van, patiently waiting to be let in. He sure loves Grandma's house. Then Tyler and I headed to the cities. It was an uneventful drive there. Funny how driving to the cities used to be a big deal, now it seems as common as finding my way to the grocery store. It had been a few weeks since we'd been there, since Tyler's counts were low. The security person looked sheepish and apologized for forgetting my name. They often have my sheet half filled out by the time I get to the desk when they see me coming! Tyler loved seeing his nurses. He showed off his new crawling and supported walking skills to them, as they cooed at him and told him how cute and big he is and how much they missed him in these 3 long weeks!

His chemo didn't take long at all, they also checked under his dressing at my request. I thought it looked funny. Sure enough, he has a yeast infection at the site. After chemo we went up to the 8th floor and saw his old nurses, who apparently were just talking about Tyler, wondering how "their baby" doing. Afterward we dropped some cloth diapers off with Jen in Princeton and then headed to my parent's house for the evening.

Tyler's infected site. I'd taken a pic to maybe email the Dr but it wasn't clear enough to really see all the yeasty spots. But wanted to post it since the tube will be taken out soon and it'll be interesting to look back on. I only have pics of the dressing, not of it uncovered. The black stitch used to be almost level with the skin, it's pulled out that much and the cuff that's underneath the skin is pushing up on the skin, which is what's causing the biggest red spot right above the hole. Hope it doesn't gross anyone out!

Wednesday I had some shopping to do. I got a cart/highchair cover for Tyler at Once Upon a Child. Now once he outgrows his infant carrier, he can sit in the shopping cart seat without worry of germs. I bought a mini trampoline for Dawson. He loves bouncing and uses the couch. I've tried keeping him off it and it's just not happening. I can be sitting right on the couch and he'll still go back up and bounce after I've told him no! The boys were good in the stores, Dawson slept while Tyler played with a toy I brought. I was thinking about going through the Taco Bell drive through, so I checked my window to make sure it wasn't froze shut. It went down a bit, but wouldn't go back up! So it was stuck down about 2 inches, that got cold in no time, even with the heater on full blast.

Wednesday's meds. The horizontal stuff is oral, vertical is all for his 1 IV chemo. 3 are flushes and the red capped syringe is the chemo. His meds top to bottom are liquid vitamins in the bottle, Bactrum to help keep his organs safe, antibiotic for his yeast infection, 6-MP chemo and Zofran for nausea.
Before we went shopping, they were playing with the slide. Tyler would push the truck down the slide, bursting into a fit of giggles. Dawson would giggle too and chase the truck.

Thursday I had to go back out because I missed the customer service desk being open and I needed stamps. So I we went and got stamps and hurried home again. Brr! I set up the trampoline after I got home. Dawson loved it and I haven't seen him bounce on the couch since! Yay! I spent most of the day playing with the boys.

Dawson loves his new trampoline!
 So does Tyler, he thought it was cool to sit on!
 Then he discovered that bouncing a heavy ball toy on it was way funner!
 There's no springs, it's just these fabric stretchy straps. So you really can't get fingers pinched. I was very happy to see that! I touched it while Dawson was bouncing and the fabric doesn't even have big enough grooves to feel a pinch either. :)

Dan is home on Fridays and wanted to eat out for a change. We also wanted to get my remote start key fob that's been broken over a year now. Would've come in handy for the winter, but we've been too busy and they close at 5:30. So we got that finally, now we just have to get Charlie, a mechanic friend of ours, to program it for us. He's trained in that and does them all day long, so it shouldn't take long at all. We went to Arby's and ate in for a change. This reminded us why we don't eat out much! Dawson was making loud noises, Tyler wanted to throw napkins and things on the floor constantly. Dawson escaped over the back of the booth 3 times. We were watching him too, he's just that quick! This is why we make sure not to sit right by people! They only had 1 highchair, which Tyler got. This makes it more tricky. Usually if Dawson can't sit still in a booster, he goes into a highchair and then he's usually better. There really wasn't many people there, thankfully. Maybe 2 or 3 tables. 1 had a toddler, so they were just looking sympathetic! After we got home, Dan took my car to get gas. He also figured out the window problem. The window switch has some bad contacts. He got the window to go up, so that's a relief. He'll be taking that apart and fixing it soon. Hopefully the weather will warm up for him!

Dan's sister visited us that evening also. Dan had a good time visiting with her while playing with the kids. I actually got some dishes done without being bothered (shocking) and a couple other small things. Unfortunately, having late company had Dawson riled up and he wasn't able to settle down for bedtime. He's big on routine. We drink chocolate milk and he watches a short cartoon movie before bed. He usually runs right into his bed after I get his pajamas on. Instead he wasn't settled enough, I even waited until 2am, an hour past his bedtime, hoping he'd settle down. He banged on the door and threw a big tantrum. I tried talking to him a bit, he did settle down and gave a big tired sigh, but as soon as I left the room he was back banging at the door again. She left at 2:40 and he took until 4:30am to settle down and go to sleep. Tyler was up until 7am.

This morning Dawson woke up around 9am, so I'd gotten barely 2 hours of sleep. He ate his breakfast and I put his morning Blues Clues on for him. I fell asleep and he decided to make a huge mess. All the papers from my computer desk (I have 3 cubbyholes in my hutch) and the entire diaper box of CD's and papers next to the computer desk were all over the floor. A lot of the CD cases were cracked, batteries were out of the remotes, etc. Half the living room floor was covered with stuff. He's always tougher to deal with when his sleep routine is off, so hopefully everything will be back on schedule soon. Tonight I put him to bed at 2am, since it was 4am last night. He fought it until about 2:30 that I heard, though sometimes he just wanders around in his room for a while before going to sleep. Tyler is still up though, we're thinking of doing some Wii Sports to kill the time. Should be fun!

Me? Make a mess? Never!
The boys like sharing my lap sometimes when I'm at the computer. I don't get much computer stuff done while holding them both though!
Dawson was suddenly very interested in poking at Tyler. It wasn't very amusing to Tyler though!
When I plugged in my camera to upload pics, I was expecting to have about 10 new ones. Instead there were 56! I said yes to upload anyway and saw many interesting things. Apparently Dawson got at the camera again. I saw lots of floor, some of my computer desk and many unknown colorful blurs. These few were really cute though, so I had to share.
He learned how to back up and take pics! I thought this one was pretty darn good!! He had a few of these.
You gotta wonder what he's thinking sometimes, is he taunting me?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Destructive Toddler and Curious Baby

Dawson sure is working hard for the spotlight these days! Though I've told him he'll get attention for being cute too, that just isn't as fun! So just in the last few days, he's broken the metal walk-through gate that blocks off the kitchen. This morning he got a pencil from the kitchen and drew all over the hallway walls. Unfortunately we have that bumpy stucco paint on the walls and it's hard to erase over bumps and dips!

He also got ahold of the mail key. This was separated from my key ring when Tyler got admitted and Dan needed access to the mail. We just kept it in the same place as a lone key, since I sometimes came home too. I noticed the other day he climbed up there and was getting at my things, but I moved the thing he was standing on. He got the key anyway and we looked high, low and under everything we could think of and after a good hour of searching we haven't been able to find it!! Hopefully we'll find it before Tyler does. Before Monday would be great! We have to pay to get a new one. I'm sure if we get a new one, we'll find the old one a couple days later. Never fails!

He's been all over my computer desk, he hid my Window's XP disk, but during our key search, Dan found that. He got the camera a few times today. It seems to be his main goal lately. Gonna have to figure out a new hiding place for it!

Tyler has been really active lately too. He's been getting into small things if he finds them, stuff that Dawson threw onto the floor, but most everything is up out of the way. It's Dawson being able to climb on everything that's causing us the most trouble! Tyler has been exploring new places. He crawls in and under things. He pulls up on everything he's able to. Tyler fell and hit his head on a wooden end table and since then he's been scared to go from standing to sitting. So he'll pull up on something and then cry to get down. I hope this new fear doesn't last too long. He wants to eat what we're eating, but he still doesn't eat a lot as far as volume. He just tastes a bit of what I'm eating.

The boys each got a "new" toy the other day. I don't usually buy them toys, but these were things I'd wanted to get them a while back and never did. I sold a couple things at Once Upon A Child and then bought a couple things there. They are both a big hit and have kept them busy over the past few days.

Tyler got a driving toy that makes car/driving noises. They both love this toy!

Dawson got a racing track that's a hill. He really likes it.

It's still neat seeing Tyler standing

Yes, Dawson is IN the toybox. Tyler seems to think it's pretty funny! Tyler sure idolizes his brother and tries to copy everything he does! Should be interesting once he's able to keep up with Dawson!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dawson the Photographer

 Apparently Dawson had my camera today. I didn't see it missing, but I heard a beeping noise. Upon finding the source of the noise, there was Dawson, looking at pictures on the camera! He's taken interest to the camera in the past week, and has been watching me do things. He's a fast learner! Thought I'd post his work.

This is the first one I saw. I thought he broke something! So I wasn't too pleased at first, but was laughing by the time I finished looking at his pics!

He started at my computer desk, where the camera was. He needs to work on keeping the fingers away!

 I originally thought this was his tongue, but after a closer look, it's definitely my computer desk. The crumbs were the deciding factor!

So I guess he got tired of objects and decided to tune his portrait skills

Hmm, still off center!

There we go! Aren't I cute?!

Hehe, this flash up in my face is cool!

Ok, maybe this flash is a bit much!
 Moving on to some abstract

Look, an entire empty spot of carpet! I must've not been thorough enough with spreading my toys out

He doesn't have a studio yet, but he's got some skills, don't you think?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mom's Night Out!

I got to go skating tonight with Jenny. It was so good to get out, I was getting really stressed and sick of being cooped up. The boys went to Amy's house. Dawson had a hard time at first, but eventually settled down. He freaks out and is upset everytime we go to anyone's house, but especially Amy's since she took Dawson for days at a time while Tyler was in the hospital. When it came time to pick him up, I had a hard time getting him out the door because he was having so much fun. Nice to know he loves it there. :)

Skating was fun, haven't seen all those people in a couple years! Jenny brought her 5 month old baby, it was nice to see him. She also brought back some baby stuff. I'd borrowed her. It'll be interesting finding space for all that stuff. Today's stuff was just smaller things, but pretty soon I have a swing coming. She's storing the 6 totes of baby clothes in her basement for us. Thank goodness, or we wouldn't be able to save the clothes!

We went shopping at Walmart afterward. Takes longer each time it seems. After checkout, at least 1 cashier usually comes over and wants an update on Tyler. Then a couple other people usually come over to see what the fuss is about, or to see the baby. So then those new people recognize us the next time we go in and it just keeps snowballing. Today I had 5 ladies cooing at him and asking questions! He's getting to be quite a town celebrity. Most places I go there's usually 1 or 2 people who want to see how he is. It's kinda nice to have some adults to talk to, even for a little bit.

Dawson is suddenly interested in getting his picture taken! I got out the camera to get a pic of something Tyler was doing, and Dawson came over, made me point the camera at him, then stood and smiled. He'd look at the result of each one, grin/giggle and then stand back and smile for another one. Could he get any cuter?!

We started getting goofy and he was copying some of my faces

He wanted to show off one of his favorite things. He thinks it's funny to put this on his finger. Makes a cool popping noise when you pull it off fast.

Here's Tyler, with his "new" improved toy. I had the legs off, but since he's standing steadier now, I put them back on and it's suddenly his new favorite toy again. :) 

(the blur on the left is Dawson, still trying to get me to keep the focus on him!!)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Titanic Exhibit, New Mattress and Cute Little Boys

We've had a busy week. Too busy to blog even, though I've been trying to keep up with it. The boys have been busy and managed to avoid my cold somehow. I think a lot of why it hit me so hard was my lack of sleep. I've been getting between 30 minutes to 3 hours every night. It really drags a person down and makes them susceptible to colds.

I've been exercising on the Wii every night. I took a night off last night though. It has a journal to do everyday and it told me I'm not getting enough sleep and I don't have enough energy to exercise! So we watched a movie (Seven Pounds) and ate ice cream instead. :)

Dawson is being his energetic, troublesome self. He's been drinking out of a cup really good. His latest thing is sharing my chocolate milk in the evening. Except it went from sharing, to running off with my glass and finishing it for me. He returned the cup to me when he was done though, grinning ear to ear. I've been having him put his dishes in the sink when he's done with them. If I'm not right there to get them, he throws them on the floor. So I'm hoping to avoid that as much as possible. Well he picked up on it well. The other morning I came into the kitchen to find part of my silverware drawer in the sink. All the twist ties we had in there, baby spoons and some regular stuff too. Getting the twist ties out of the garbage disposal was fun. Not that I'd know, Dan did that part, thankfully!

Tyler is doing good. His counts are still too low for chemo, so it's nice having a normal baby again, but also nerve-wracking to not have him on chemo. He's been very interested in food lately. His new favorite is cheese. He wasn't so fond of spaghetti noodles, way too much work and they felt weird. Bananas were rejected completely. He spent so much time trying to pick them up, then once the piece got to his lips he'd throw it down. This went on for a good 10 minutes. I can't feed him, he has to do it himself. He won't accept a spoon either, even though I tried to teach Mr. Independent how to use the spoon. It just wasn't happening! I also gave him a little water in a small bottle and he drank some by himself. So I guess that answers the question if he can hold a cup/bottle by himself! He was quite upset with me last night because I wouldn't let him dive into my chocolate ice cream. I offered him some with a spoon, but he made a face, pushed it away and dove for the bowl again. He doesn't take rejection very well! I got that face that babies give their mommies to make them feel horrible, so he ended up nursing while I ate my ice cream. Which of course didn't go too smoothly, because he just knows it's there!

Tyler has been crawling faster lately and trying to overcome more obstacles. Today he proudly crawled over Dawson's bag of Mega Blocks. He used to not like crawling over anything, but now he's starting to think it's fun. He's also standing up next to toys even more. He's discovered some new fun activities. Like closing the kitchen gate and the bedroom door. He opens and closes the door a bit, playing peek-a-boo with me. He will also raise a blanket over his head to play peek-a-boo, it's so cute!

Thursday night was stressful. I was trying to get ready for Friday, separating the boy's diaper bag stuff, gathering extra things we'll need, giving baths, etc. After going grocery shopping, no less! So I was already tired when I got home. I did a lot of cleaning, did the big stack of dishes I hadn't done because I was sick. Then I cleaned the living room, which Dawson promptly messed up again. Not only that, he was on a roll with throwing things behind the couch. So I decided to put him in the bath a bit early. He has these bath crayons that someone gave us, he loves drawing in the tub. He decided to chew apart the entire red crayon! It was completely gone, just had small chunks laying in the tub and red crayon stuck to his teeth. Gross!

I'd about had enough for the day, but Tyler looked SO interested in the bath, so I decided to give him one. This was his 2nd real bath since he was diagnosed. He can't get his tubes wet, so it's hard to do real baths. He just gets sponge baths instead. It took about 15 minutes (2 attempts) to get his tubes securely up and plastic wrap over them. It's hard dealing with plastic wrap and a squirmy baby trying to play with it! So he was pretty mad by the time I finished. I got him into the bath seat and he started crying and screaming. I figured he'd settle down after I played with him for a bit, but no luck. I took him out of the seat and he didn't want anything to do with the water. So I gave up, rather frustrated and tired.

On Friday we went to the Titanic Exhibit with our friend Jessie and her 14 year old neighbor, who also happens to be a Leukemia survivor. It was fun, we weren't allowed to take pictures because of the preservation of artifacts they've brought up from the wreck, but it was nice walking around and reading all the stories of people and seeing things they used back then. Afterward we walked around the rest of the Science Museum, where the Exhibit was held. It was fun seeing everything. On our way home we stopped by Heidi's house, (a friend me met online) and dropped off 2 full diaper boxes of baby food that we'd stocked up. He's skipping that faze apparently, so I wanted to give it to someone who could really use it. After that we picked up Dawson from my parent's house and went home.

Saturday was a quiet day. I put quite a few things on Craigslist, hopefully they'll sell. I also answered some ads, so I'm hoping to get a couple things too. One of the things I found this week was a Tempurpedic mattress set. We've always wanted one, but when we looked they wanted 2-3 thousand for them! So we were quite happy to get it for much cheaper! It hasn't been used long either, the lady has arthritis and it was too stiff for her. It even came with a mattress pad and pillows, which are very comfy! We picked it up today (Sunday).

Heidi took a pic of all the baby food I gave her, after she sorted it all

Tyler not liking his bath (had to take a pic anyway, he's rarely in the bath!)

Daddy and Tyler at the Science Museum. I love this carrier, it sure saves the arms, he's getting heavy!

Dawson, after he stole my chocolate milk. He's got it pretty good, chocolate and Blue's Clues on the big TV!

He was pretty hyper afterward, he drank half the glass! Luckily it was short lived. Love the goatee thing!

Tyler saw Dawson playing with his jumperoo, so I put him in there and they both played together for a while.

I think Dawson has come quite a ways in accepting his little brother being around lately. He will share my lap now and he'll play with the same toy more often too. If he sees me changing Tyler, he'll stand there and wait, where he used to throw a tantrum. So I'm happy that things are settling down and he's enjoying his brother more now. He still doesn't like it when Tyler takes his things, knocks over his mega block towers or is eating food that Dawson likes, even if Dawson has the same thing. It's a new concept (Tyler eating real food) that he'll just have to get used to! He doesn't mind if it's stuff like cheese, that he doesn't like. Hopefully it'll be short lived. If anything, I can move Tyler's highchair up to the top level, but he really enjoys being at the same level as we are, so I'm hoping to just work through things.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tyler's Evaluation Results and a New Toy

Dawson had his final evaluation today. She couldn't come before because she was sick but they technically had to do this part, even though he already qualified. He matched shapes, stacked blocks, put pegs in holes and really enjoyed that. He wouldn't point to a picture in a book or put blocks on a string though. Blocks are for stacking! So he was stubborn for that part of it.

Tyler's evaluation was reviewed and the school district was thrilled about how good he's doing and said he doesn't need anything right now. They'll be keeping track of him by sending me a paper each month or 2 saying what he should be doing. If he's not doing any of those, then they'll review it and see if he could use some help.

Saturday night we went out and bought a Nintendo Wii system. It came with the sports and we bought the Wii Active too. Since I'm stuck in the house all the time and can't go to the mall to walk during the winter, or my other usual places, I thought it'd be a good alternative. It's a lot more fun than those workout tapes too!

Right now I have a bad head cold and feel like crap. Tyler's immunity is low so I'm watching him for signs of getting sick. With little immunity, those signs are totally different than normal people, so I really have to be on my toes! It's very stressful.

The boys playing and watching their new Blue's Clues movie, winding down before bedtime

Dawson getting in trouble (crawling onto my computer desk)

Tyler playing with his new discovery, the doorstop

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tyler's Evaluation and a Playdate

Tyler's Early Intervention evaluation was today. They didn't look at him though, they asked me a huge list of questions about what he can do while Tyler slept. Good thing, he needed his sleep.

She determined that he's doing great physically and socially. He's interacting, moving around and meeting all his milestones. She said he could use some work on fine motor. Just because I said no to "drinking from a cup" and "using the pincher grasp". Well I've never tried a cup, he's 10 months old and nursing. So I'm not worried about him at all at this time.

She said that they can monitor him through sending me a form to fill out every couple months, to monitor his progress. We also talked about maybe getting some help with feeding, since he doesn't want to eat baby food. He'll try the occasional food I'm snacking on, but it's not enough to consider it "eating". So she's gonna present her findings to the school district and see what they say. She said they may just ask Home Care to work on his feeding also. I guess we'll see what they think. I really don't like how OT worked with him in the hospital, they were too pushy I think and he acted like he was being tortured.

We went to a small playdate today in Coon Rapids, it was so good to get out of the house! There were 3 other people there (Heidi, Miranda and Irina) with their 3 babies (Caden, Alicia, Liam) who are Tyler's age. It was fun to watch the babies figure eachother out and it was nice to talk to some adults for a change. Ones who aren't just talking to me for healthcare or development reasons! I'm really hoping to be able to go roller skating on tuesdays, if I can find a sitter. Doesn't look very promising yet though.

Dawson was really busy today, he discovered that throwing toys over the railing in a split level house was really fun. He did a lot of running back and forth too. He wasn't so sure of all those babies though! 

Tyler has found that the doorstop makes a really cool noise when you make it flop up and down. He played with it for several minutes, giggling. He's been so happy and playful. Full of smiles and energy, it's been great. I did get the Christmas tree and stuff put away last night. Gave us a lot more room for things. I'm debating what to do with the space now. I have a few ideas. I might play around with it tomorrow if I have time.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Peaceful Day

We haven't had many days where we've had no nurses or evaluation people come to the home. No appointments to go to and I didn't spend half the day on the phone arranging appointments either. Though I did get 2 quick calls, from the Children's nurse and the medical supplier, but that's very minimum for us!

The boys have enjoyed this day by playing and getting into all sorts of trouble. Dawson has been throwing everything behind the couch, feeding Tyler things, like grapes. He's been throwing things at our new TV, which doesn't go over well at all! This results in the TV being turned off and Dawson having a big tantrum about it. Hopefully he'll learn soon! He helped me unload the dishwasher the other day. He stacked all the plastic bowls together for me. He also helps with laundry by putting the wet clothes from the basket into the dryer. It's slow going, but he loves being helpful. He's really good at making more work for people too! The other day he put a screw in the CD drive of Dan's computer. Now the drawer won't shut, so Dan needs to take things apart and fix it. We were counting grapes today. He had one in each hand. I pointed and said "one, two", then he said "two two". He really likes people counting things for him. He's never tried to say any numbers before though.

Tyler is all over the place. He found the patio blinds now and thinks it's cool to pull at them. He disappeared on me today, I found him in the entryway by the kitchen, trying to get over the rugs. He can make it over the bump on the walk-through baby gates and he seems to treat rugs the same way. He seems to think he needs to get up on his feet and walk/crawl over the edges like he does the bar on the gate! It's cute, but he gets pretty frustrated and "stuck" there. He doesn't usually make any noise though, so I usually walk around the corner to find him on his hands and feet with his butt up in the air! He's been so happy today, the steroids have worn off, he got blood and he's got all sorts of energy now. He giggles at everything. Things Dawson is doing, stuff on TV,'s so cute!

My laptop got a virus last night. It somehow closed my Antivirus program and made the system restore not work. I'm so frustrated! I deleted one of the files, but it's still on the blue screen in "safe mode". I gave up on it for now, my patience ran out last night and I wanted a peaceful, no hassle day today.

I got some more cleaning done today. I made a good gap in our room last night. It's become the catch-all for stuff we bring home from the hospital, suitcases, bags, you name it! So I got a bunch of it put away, including the suitcases that were still partially packed. I also went through Tyler's clothes, got the rest of the 18 month stuff out and even some 24 month shirts. I'm hoping to tackle the Christmas tree next. We'll see if I have time tonight. The space in the living room would be nice.

Tyler getting into the blinds. He was also messing with the shoes.

Tyler crawling around

Playing with his toys. He likes to be up these days.

Tyler loves the slide

I can't seem to get many good pics of Dawson. He runs away or tries to grab the camera! But I finally got a couple cute ones of him today. Mostly because I caught him before he grabbed the camera!