Saturday, January 8, 2011

Welcome 2011

It's been months since I've updated, we've just been so busy! Lots to look forward to in 2011. Baby is due April 4th and Tyler will be done with treatmet in June! At the time of diagnosis, 2011 seemed so far away, but here it is! Hopefully it'll be a good year. Here's the latest on us from the last few months.

Dan has been doing good, busy with work and until recently had been going to his parent's house every weekend to work on vehicles. We've had a lot of vehicle switching lately. We bought a black Town and Country van May 09 and finally got time to fix it up this summer. Got it going and I'm loving it. My car will be sold once it gets warm enough for him to fix and sell it. He fixed his truck, sold his blue car and is now driving the truck, but plans to sell that too. It's nice getting some projects done, things sold and making progress on reducing clutter. He's also been helping me with things inside too, we rearranged the living room and are now working on the boy's room. It's nice having him home more often now.

I have been doing pretty good, I'll be 28 weeks on Monday, just started 3rd Trimester. We found out in November that it's another boy! I'm sure he'll fit in well with his crazy brothers. He's very active and running out of room in there already it seems. I've been more sore, achy and very tired in the last couple of weeks. I had a bad cold and now it's mostly pregnancy related tiredness. I'm very anxious for winter to be over, I'm not a big fan of being cooped up. We've been going to a special ed support group on Monday and Wednesday evenings. The kids go off to play in a classroom while the adults talk. I've learned a lot there and it's nice to have some adult conversation without worrying about watching the kids. Adult night at the roller rink just started up this week too on Tuesday nights, so I'll be going to that every week as long as I'm feeling up to it. I'm taking it easy, lots of breaks, but this week went well and I was still feeling good. Didn't even get the usual blisters after not skating in a while.

Dawson is enjoying preschool, his teacher says he's doing great. His cognitive skills are average, he knows his ABCs, can count to 10, basic shapes, most colors and can even sing the ABC song, along with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. If you ask him what he is, he'll say "cute and sweet and silly". I think that describes him pretty well. I had been telling him that he's cute and sweet, he added the silly part on his own. He's been talking more now and using more 2-3 word sentences. Communication is much easier now, he can say "I want ___", so it's nice to not have to guess what he wants. Though sometimes he struggles to find the word for what he wants, he's usually able to let me know verbally. He's getting much more expressive too, his questions sound like questions, etc.

A couple weeks before Christmas, his speech and occupational therapy center called and said they were putting a hold on services because Dawson was being uncooperative. Not only him, but they put Tyler on hold too, lumping them together, which I thought was very unfair to Tyler! His behavior had been getting worse and worse. He was more frustrated and acting aggressive, mostly toward Tyler. His eating had also become more picky. All very gradually, I figured it was a 3 year old thing. A mom in my support group suggested I get him checked out for a bowl obstruction, so I took him to the Dr for an abdominal x-ray the next morning. Sure enough, he was completely blocked up. They gave him laxitives and suppositories. I also did prune juice, which actually seemed to be doing more than the other stuff. After 2 weeks he was eating more and his behaviors were getting much better. They don't want to x-ray him again unless we suspect another problem, but we're pretty sure the issue is resolved. As far as potty training goes, he hasn't even started yet. He rarely lets me know when he needs a diaper and when he does it's usually been there a while and is starting to bother him. He refuses to sit on the potty at all, he yells no and runs away when I suggest it. So we're just offering and trying to promote awareness for now.

Tyler has been doing great. He's getting monthly IVIG infusions, which is a 4 hour IV infusion to help support his immune system during cold/flu season. It helps him prevent getting sick, not fight things off. He's still been getting colds, but thankfully nothing worse so far. Other than that we just see the Oncologist once a month. He has a bone marrow biopsy on the 17th that will tell us if the cancer is still gone. He's been a very active, happy little guy. The chemo doesn't seem to be affecting him at all, it probably helps that it's all he's ever known, as far as he remembers. He's a few months behind, but finally starting to talk now. He can say "pizza, good job, yay did it, ready-go" He's also trying to imitate. The other day I heard him faintly say "bye" as he was waving, though it was missing the B. He babbles and talks a lot more now and seems excited about it. I think now that he's started, the words will really start coming. His OT lady got him to color for the first time this week. He wasn't interested at all in such a boring activity before, but he's decided to try it out now. He did great and was even scribbling in circles. His teachers and I agree that he's definitely making a lot of progress and seems to have much more communication than Dawson did at this age. He comes to me when he needs something, will make a little noise and then go over to what he needs. When he has a dirty diaper he'll come to me too, which is a great sign.

He's been getting into more things. His favorite is climbing up onto the table. We keep the chairs on their side, but Dawson sits them up and Tyler never fails to notice the moment someone has left one up! He loves going places and has been listening a little better. He walks by himself from the van into the library, walmart and he walks around the inside of the mall too. His favorite is the 2 ramps they have where the mall changes levels a little bit. He goes around and up the 4 stairs and then runs back down the ramp again. It used to be hard to get him away from it, but he's been better about listening and will walk away without a tantrum now. He really likes being able to have more independence. When we go to the library or the clinic, he'll push all the handicap door buttons to let himself in. He even finds his way to the short stay from the parking lot and walks right over to the nurse's station, gets his attention and continues on to the toys. I can't believe how big he's getting!

Here's me in the beginning of December.

             Tyler at his appointment at Childrens before Christmas

 He got a gift from the Drs and Nurses since it was just before Christmas. He got some play cups for the bathtub. Though at the moment, the bag was much more fun. :)
 Tyler loved opening presents on Christmas. He quickly got the concept of unwrapping and both boys pretty much helped eachother unwrap all the presents. Many were big, so there was enough room to go around anyway. Here he's unwrapping a bag of balls.
 Tyler had as much fun climbing onto the boxes as he did unwrapping them.
 Dawson was most excited to unwrap one of his favorite shows, Word World.
 Tyler walking on some boxes. This was a fun challenge, taking that step from one box to the other.
 Tyler got a gumball toy. You put balls into the top, push a lever and they come out the bottom. He's always loved this toy when his therapist brings it. They've both played with it a lot.
 They got a tall car ramp toy. The ramps go on both sides, so it's easier to share. :)
 Tyler got a ball pit house. He loves the ball pit at the school, but we try to avoid those germy public things like that. So I found one for a good price and decided to get it. Not quite sure what I was thinking, but hey, it's been fun. And messy. Unfortunately, within a couple days they already managed to rip a corner at the seam. It didn't puncture the inflated part, but the next week somehow one of the yellow columns that holds it up got a hole or something in it. Can't find it, but it deflates quickly. So we have a leaning house. Now the big challenge is trying to jump in through the roof, since it's lower to the ground. I'm thinking these boys are going to bring down this house completely by the end of the month at least. So we're left with 150 balls to trip over, they're everywhere! Not only all over the living room, but in the bedroom, I'm even tossing them out of the bathroom, though I have no clue how they get in since the door is always shut. I even found one in the apartment hallway when I got the mail today. Probably got kicked out when one of the boys went out the door. It's amusing. We keep tossing them back in, plus if I see Dawson dumping them out on purpose I'll have him put them back, which he doesn't enjoy so much but it's good for him to listen and clean up a bit. Not sure what next, we're thinking of getting a big appliance box or something and see how long that lasts.
 Tyler sure does like it though, he's spent many hours in this thing, so we've definitely gotten our money's worth out of it.
 Dawson spends just as much time in there as Tyler, maybe even more! It's a bummer the house didn't stand up to our little monsters. It's a Little Tikes thing, so I thought it'd be stronger than that.

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