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.
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.