Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Monday was overwhelming. I was shaken up from a nightmare I had that night, which wasn't a great start to my day. When Tyler was sedated, it would sometimes wear off a bit and he'd wake up and start fighting his tubes and thrashing around. In my dream he had died and was at the funeral home, but he woke up and tried getting out but they wouldn't let him. I know this is partially just that experience of the sedation and also that grief of wanting him to come back. Wondering if he could've healed had we given him longer. Of course that answer is no, there's no medical possibility for it, everyone agreed without a doubt that he was far too gone to bring him back. Yet it's still a thought we sometimes think, and then have to reassure myself that it was the right thing to do. It's not even as much doubting myself and the decision as it is just wishing things were different, which is beyond our control.

We did have some happy potty news, Dawson was dry all night for the 2nd night in a row! He also took off his diaper and went potty right away on his own! I was daring Monday night and sent him to bed in underwear. He stayed dry all night and went right away in the morning! Tonight he's in a diaper though, since I'm not sure what his new laxitive will do.

We headed out for a mom's club playdate at 10am and Dawson did great! He requested bringing his LeapFrog handheld toy which he played with in the car and asked for about 15 minutes into our playdate. When he gets overwhelmed he does well going to that familiar thing to let him escape for a bit and have some time to himself. We also did some 2-piece puzzles. They had a letter on one half and a picture with the word on the other half and he had to match them up. He did great! Even when a girl his age decided to come join the fun he didn't try to push her away like he often does. He actually looked at her and was goofing around a little. It was really great to see. He lasted the entire 2 hours of the playdate this time. The first time he only stayed about 45 minutes before getting very overwhelmed. I saw him give a little boy a truck, but then he took it back away from him. He shoved a child but then gave him a hug and kiss without me asking him to. He saw the child looking sad and realized what he'd done. That's such progress!

After the playdate we put the benefit checks in the bank and since we were over there we stopped at the Short Stay clinic where we took Tyler for many appts. Everytime we could do something in town we went there, they worked with Children's. I gave them back our special VIP parking pass and saw the Child Life lady, but everyone else was very busy today. I was so bummed, they asked me to come sometime and it was tough going in there, but I'm glad we stopped by and that was just another little thing I'd been meaning to do. I brought Dawson to school afterward and had a chat with his teacher. It's great having someone who knows so much about the suppliments and gluten-free diet. She told me where to go for certain things so I decided to head to Cashwise afterward.

The Natural Foods section is part of the grocery store that I never thought I'd be walking through. I always called it "the expensive section". It sure is! Looking at all the foods there was just overwhelming. Some were gluten free but not everything. Thankfully they were nicely marked by the store and often on the boxes. The prices were just crazy, I'm used to shopping thrifty and suddenly I'm looking at a tiny $4 loaf of bread, or a $3.69 box of only 6 waffles. I'm just trying to remind myself we'll have that disability help for his expensive diet! Not only the price though, but just realizing how many things have gluten and how limited we are is tough. Only he will be on the diet, so things that Gabriel eats, like animal crackers, Dawson can't have but he asks for them. So it should be interesting.
Tuesday started out great. We made it to MOPS on time and had a nice discussion. The kids did great in the childcare rooms and I left emotionally refreshed and ready to tackle the day. We got home, got the kids some food and then I got really tired. Gabriel had woken up last night, first time in a very long time so I really can't complain. He seems to be teething again and just miserable. He spent the rest of the night in our bed, so I didn't get great sleep. He tossed and turned, didn't want to go back to bed, but wanted to sleep. He'd sleep for a while but I wouldn't because it was an uncomfortable position. When I moved, he'd wake up. It was just one of those nights. We were both tired and ended up falling asleep on the couch after he nursed. Dawson was watching his cartoons and all was peaceful. I woke up at 12:44. Crap! Dawson's bus comes at 12:42. Gabriel was sound asleep too and needed his nap so bad. I layed him in his crib and had Dan come in to be with him so he could sleep while I took Dawson to school. I was really kicking myself!

I seem to be jinxing myself a lot lately! Yesterday I told a friend that Gabriel hadn't woke up in the middle of the night for many months. This morning I told people that my day was off to a great start. Perhaps I need to stop bragging! ;)
A couple examples of gluten-free foods. Waffles.
 He likes baked goods, so I thought I'd try some cheese muffins.
 He wanted more pictures so we did that for a while. They love playing with this house!
 Gabriel is just the right size for the house.
 Cube slide!
 Gabriel loved being on the cube slide.
 This boy is too cute!

 Dawson wanted a picture with his Toy Story characters. He's just starting to watch some full feature movies now. Other than Cars he really hasn't, but he likes Toy Story and then he realized we happened to have some of the toys already.
 One of his favorite toys.
 He was trying to frown at me, but it's hard to frown and look serious when you're trying not to smile. ;)
Well I guess we aren't done with meds anymore. Here I thought we'd left that life behind, but it found us again. Hopefully Dawson's suppliments will help get and keep him healthier . The bottle on the left is Gabriel's vitamin, he had low hemoglobin so he needs an iron suppliment. The next one is Herb-Lax, recommended by Dawson's teacher. It's supposed to more naturally regulate the digestive system, clean out the gluten and keep things going. It smells nasty though, I'm going to have to get creative with getting him to take that. It smells like alfalfa and sure enough, it was one of the ingredients! The blue bottle is the Omega3 Fish Oil. Purple bottle is a multi-vitamin. Yellow is Melatonin to help with sleep. Green box is the probiotic powder packets. I was giving it all at bedtime but I'm going to start spacing them throughout the day to make it less overwhelming at night. I don't want him to really hate taking things! I'm afraid he might already start fighting me now because giving him the Herb-lax in just water tonight was a bad reaction. Before that he was always willing to take his stuff.
We got to go skating tonight, was nice to get out and chat with friends. I've been slacking on the exercise lately, but have noticed just from eating better I lost another 2 pounds, totaling 9 pounds lost in almost 3 months.

I can't believe these were taken a year ago. Seems like just yesterday! In reality, we had the new year, his birthday, new baby, then back to the hospital for the next 7 months. So most of the year was taken by the hospital. I hate that he suffered so much time inpatient. This is the time period in which I like to remember him. That year of fun, happy times during maintenance chemo when he was able to be at home. I love this mischievious little boy!
 I also miss this contagious smiley face! I can't believe tomorrow is February already. About 40 minutes and I get to flip the calendar to that dreaded month that is Tyler's birthday. The big milestone that everyone says is so hard to get past once losing a child. I wish we didn't have to be facing this so soon.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Today was our spaghetti dinner and auction benefit that's been in the works for a few months. We had a great time! 101 auction items, and most things were paired up in baskets and stuff, so there were easily 1,000 items and gift cards there. It was fun watching people try to outbid their friends in the silent auction and have a lot of fun with it. They had a live auction for the big ticket items and that brought in a lot too. The biggest item was a Winchester rifle that went for $900! Overall we made $5,275. I got to meet some great people who have been following our story too. Everyone worked so hard to make this happen, people are so amazing. Dawson and Gabriel stayed at home with a friend and I was very glad they did! I'm sure they would've been bored after the first 10 minutes and we were there for 5 hours. I did get to play with a couple kids while parents looked over things. Thank you everyone who came and everyone who has been so supportive to us through all that we've been through. You have all helped make this journey a little easier on us.
The boys were excited to see we brought home some balloons

 The poster boards I brought. It's sad to realize that there are 4 more pictures here than months Tyler lived.
 Thank you again to everyone who donated to our paypal previously. I've been buying some things online with it and it's been so helpful! The other day I just got 4 boxes of diapers for Gabriel. I bought in bulk so I could get the free shipping. Won't have to buy more for a while. The boys love the box too. Dawson climbs in and closes himself in it. Once playing in the empty box gets old, I'm going to turn it into a ball pit until it's no longer usable. :) 

Friday, January 27, 2012


Dawson had a rough start to his morning today. He slept in, unusual for him. His therapist got here at 9am and I told him to get up for 3rd time. He kept trying to lay back down and was pressing his eyes close, whispering something over and over. I got closer and heard what he was saying. "go see Tyler". I think he'd been dreaming about him and wanted to go back to sleep to see him again. At 10am I had a home visit meeting with Dawson's teacher and we were talking about his GI issues and she was starting to describe some things and said "i hope I don't gross you out". I assured her that nothing she said could possibly gross me out after what I've seen! She was very happy with  the suppliments I've started and recommended another one to help clear out the gluten and help his stools be more regular without the help of a laxitive. Hopefully that will work. Autistic kids often can't process things as easily. That gluten, which is in bread products, gets stuck in the digestive tract and starts gunking it up, making it harder for good things to absorb and makes him constipated since there's not as much room in there anymore. I've been reading up on it a lot and they say a lot of the kids crave those carbs that have gluten when they have this problem. Not sure why, but he has always been huge on those things. Changing his diet always seemed like a huge step and a big cost, since gluten-free versions of the foods aren't cheap. I had hoped the laxitive would help, and hadn't really focused on the subject until things settled and I started looking more into it again. The laxitive only helps move things through, but unless he stops eating gluten it will continue. It also gets absorbed into the bloodstream and acts as an Opiate for kids, which is often why they get spacey. His teacher and many people I've read about have said they've noticed big improvements in alertness and behavior, plus better digestive system by changing their diet.

So I was really stressing out about how to start this new thing when I can't affort to shop in the special foods section of the grocery store! Of course I want what's best for him though. Well my answer came yesterday when I got a call from the social security office saying his application for SSI has been approved! I had applied for SSI back in July when I was looking into things before and someone had recommended it. Autistic kids are eligible, especially when they need therapists, special diets and other things. It just takes a while and they need to evaluate how much care and special things each child needs. Not everyone gets it and I had started to lose hope! It's such a relief and now I don't have to hold back on getting him what he needs. After talking to people it was sounding impossible. They want like $6 for a loaf of bread sometimes. His suppliments are about $50 a month and I haven't even looked into the one his teacher mentioned.

We went to MOPS on thursday morning and that went well. Dawson went in the preschool room this time! It was our 3rd MOPS meeting at this one and the first time he was in the toddler room but it was too loud and chaotic for him, so the 2nd time he chose to be in the baby room with Gabriel. This time he was less clingy and decided to join the big kids and loved it. They said he did take a break and played with Gabriel for a while too. They were great about paying attention to his needs and letting him have that break. His therapist will usually be with him during that time, but she's on vacation.

Thursday evening we went to ECFE class. I asked Dawson if I should bring the camera and he said yes. I asked what I should take a picture of (last week he wanted him and Gabriel in the swing) and he said Gabriel. So I got some pictures of Gabriel in the ball pit.

 The tongue phase is always so cute
 He's learned to spit too. It was particularly fun when he did it to me at lunch with carrots in his mouth.
 See my tongue? It's the coolest thing ever and you'll be seeing much more of it for a while. :)
 Of course I had to get Dawson too, who loves riding the trikes
 He spends a lot of time in the ball pit too
 Adorable, happy boy!
I have learned that there are drawbacks to teaching them certain things. I told him to only use 1 square of toilet paper when he pees since he was unrolling it to the floor. Well we went to the bathroom before class and I took the stall next to him. Realized too late that there was no toilet paper in mine! So I thought "hey! Dawson can get me some!" I asked Dawson to get me some toilet paper, and he did. One square. Thankfully once I specified, my second request turned out better. I love how those little things can really make you laugh though. :)

This afternoon we went to a friend's house. She had a baby a month ago and we haven't seen them since just before Christmas. It was so fun seeing her baby, but at the same time it made me realize how big Gabriel has gotten! I was holding them both and Gabriel just looked huge. He was suddenly looking more like a toddler. Another hard thing was seeing her 2 year old. He reminds me of Tyler a bit, the way he says things and his cute cheeks. He's a little younger but about the same size. He was having some trouble sharing toys and decided to cuddle with me for a bit, which is what really got me. Holding someone that size again was emotional. It was nice, but realizing it wasn't Tyler and I won't get to hold him again is just tough. At first it was hard even seeing toddlers, it seemed like they were everywhere I went. Now it's mostly tough seeing moms with 3 boys about the same age. You wouldn't think I'd see many, but it seems like they're everywhere now! Or siblings having fun together and I think of what Dawson has lost. Since I'm posting ball pit pictures, here's a couple more. This was Tyler last winter.
 I actually have this one as my desktop pic right now :)
Tomorrow is a big day! Our Spaghetti dinner and auction is tomorrow afternoon/evening. It's been in the works for months and I'm excited to see everyone! Here's the information if anyone is interested. https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/314474225253927/ 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


This week I'm feeling very hopeful for several things. I forgot to mention our supper at Pizza Ranch on Sunday evening. It was a benefit for my uncle, who's been fighting Leukemia since 2006. Chemo and transplant didn't work and his organs can no longer tolerate the treatments, so they have stopped. We usually don't eat out with the kids, at least nothing more than drive-thru. I came prepared with Dawson's leap frog toy and some crackers with Gabriel. We sat by the buffet and Dawson actually ate some chicken sticks, a breastick and ice cream. He hasn't been a big fan of pizza lately. He had been getting less picky about the foods he ate, but since we've been back home he isn't even eating his usual foods anymore. His list of things he'll eat is very small. So I was happy especially about the chicken sticks since they are a different than usual food for him. Even Gabriel ate the chicken. That boy wants to eat everything. He even found a slice of pizza earlier this week that Dawson had put in the living room. Unfortunately with his milk intolerance, eating all the cheese off it wasn't a good thing for him. I was impressed at how well the boys both sat happily eating, even after they were done they didn't get fussy. Dawson asked for his leap frog toy and Gabriel just didn't want to stop eating. Dawson even took a potty break while we were there and stayed dry the whole evening. For the first time since having children I actually left the restaurant thinking "wow, we should do that again sometime". Usually my thoughts are more like "so THAT'S why we haven't done this in almost a year!". ;)

Dawson's potty training is going so well. He's been having 1 accident a day these last couple days. Yesterday he stayed dry at school but had an accident on the bus. He has an hour long bus ride though. Today he was having some cramping and constipation issues, so I gave him his laxitive and he had an accident from that. Autistic kids are often very difficult to potty train because of the GI issues with needing laxitives and not being regular. I started him on a Probiotic today with hopes that it will help out his digestive system. It's just a suppliment that helps balance the healthy bacteria and keeps the digestive system healthier. He's also on a regular vitamin and I just started a kid's fish oil/omega3 suppliment (helps with brain development and behavior). He's missing so many nutrients with his picky appetite, so hopefully that will help get him those essential things.

The Melatonin has been doing great, he goes to bed without any problems now and wakes up in a great mood. I've been putting him to bed in a diaper, but in the morning he gets up and immediately goes to the bathroom. He gives me his diaper and asks for underwear. I love that he's so ambitious about this now! We went to a few stores the other day and he used all the bathrooms and did great. When we were at Walgreens I was looking at vitamins and he suddenly said "potty!", and he chanted "pee in the potty!" all the way to the back of the store. The other moms just smiled. You can always tell who's been there and who hasn't by the look on their face. He does so awesome at staying by me too. Before I wouldn't have attempted standing around looking for vitamins without a cart. Now he just stood right next to me and waited patiently. He's growing up so fast!

Speaking of growing up, I signed Dawson up for Kindergarten today! He's been in the school system for 2 years now and riding the bus for over a year but Kindergarten seems so official. They have a fuller schedule than I thought too, all day, everyday! He did great with that schedule at the Autism Center though, so I'm not worried. He will love it. Changing schools is scary though. I've had 2 kids in Special Ed at the preschool, gone to ECFE classes and support groups. I call the school and ask for Dawson's teacher and I don't even need a last name, they just know me. I walk in and can't even make it to his classroom without someone talking to me. A couple times it's been people who've heard about me but never met me before but they've followed our story. The whole place has been so supportive and I don't want to leave them behind! I saw Tyler's teacher today. She came to our place to work with him an hour a week and has always followed his story too. She had taken a 30 minute video of me working with Tyler because of a new program someone wanted to try out. So this video was sent to another state to be looked at, along with hundreds of others from different schools. The person didn't know of Tyler's illness, but chose a clip out of his video to use as an example! I love that he will continue to help people and his memory will be passed on to people, even if they might not realize what his story is and that he's no longer with us. She also thinks there might be a 2nd video that she hadn't given me yet. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but it's hard not to! I love finding footage of Tyler that I didn't know I had. Even though I have many videos, it suddenly will never seem like enough.

Gabriel has been doing good, he's clapping toys together now and trying more obstacles. He somehow managed to get into his bin of balls the other day. I never heard a thump or anything, suddenly I heard he was playing with the balls and assumed he tipped it over. I went in there to find this.
 He was quite pleased with himself!
 Dawson came in and started feeding him fishy crackers
 Gave him a kiss
 Then started posing for the camera. I could post the rest of them, but he gets pretty goofy and I'm pretty sure nobody wants to see his tonsils, or up his nose. :)
 He wanted Mater in the picture too and he was waving Hi. He's been playing with some Cars things lately, which he had been avoiding before. He's getting a bit more comfortable with it now.

Today I was thinking of some fond memories. Sometimes they bring tears, but today they made me smile. Even though I miss him like crazy. His cute, mischievious giggle and smiles.
The way he'd look at me when he was nursing.
His constant begging for food when his appetite finally picked up. Seemed like we lived in front of the fridge some days. :)
I miss having 3 little munchkins to cuddle each morning. There's such an obvious gap now and the craziness that was our life with 3 little boys is so different. We still have 2 boys worth of crazy left, but it's so quiet here now. The constant giggles and rough play have stopped and the silence is often too much.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Back to School

Dawson was very happy to be going back to school today. After 9 days at home we were all feeling cooped up and needed a break. Dawson was having behaviors, screaming and just having a tough time with things. It's hard when routine is broken. I've never seen him get ready for school faster, he was out the door grinning and looking relieved. It was his first day at school in underwear and I was shocked to see him come home in the same pair of pants! He stayed dry the entire time. So awesome! He's had a bit of a setback at home, but we'll get there. Being dry at school was such a huge deal, so I was just happy about that. I underestimated him. He was happy to see his therapist this afternoon too.
Gabriel is quickly jumping into toddlerhood and all the joys that come with it. He has now found the garbage and recycling in the cabinets under the sink. He has quite an appetite too, he had 3/4 of a banana in one sitting today! He's imitating more sounds today too.

Dawson was much more relaxed and easy to get along with this evening. He grinned and said he was happy, as he jumped up and down. He was even playing with Gabriel and making him giggle. I haven't taken many pics lately since Dawson usually has no pants. When I put pants on him, he seems to forget about the potty trainnig, though since he did good in school I'm going to work on adding pants again. The red on his leg is marker. I guess his leg makes a good drawing board. As does the bathroom wall.
 Gabriel just adores his big brother. I love the way he looks at Dawson. He giggles at everything Dawson does, it's so cute.
 Dyed my hair for the 2nd time. It's lighter than my natural color, but not a lot. I didn't want to stray too far from normal.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Brave Little Soul

Just a short update today, I mostly wanted to share this little story. We are all feeling much better today, though I re-sprained my ankle a bit last night, it's already feeling much better too. It will be sensitive to re-injury for quite a while unfortunately. We've had some potty training frustrations, it seems that being sick has given Dawson a bit of a setback, but at least he's still interested. It was another laid back day. Gabriel is still working on his hand clapping and even imitated a new word! "ba" for ball. So exciting, he's just soaking things up like a sponge these days. :)

I read this in November shortly after Tyler died. It's a different perspective. Tyler was such an amazing little boy that it often does seem like he was a gift given to us for a short time. He really did affect so many people in the short time he was here.

The Brave Little Soul
By: John Alessi

Not too long ago in Heaven there was a little soul who took wonder in observing the world. He especially enjoyed the love he saw there and often expressed this joy with God. One day however the little soul was sad, for on this day he saw suffering in the world. He approached God and sadly asked, "Why do bad things happen; why is there suffering in the world?" God paused for a moment and replied, "Little soul, do not be sad, for the suffering you see, unlocks the love in people's hearts." The little soul was confused. "What do you mean," he asked. God replied, "Have you not noticed the goodness and love that is the offspring of that suffering? Look at how people come together, drop their differences and show their love and compassion for those who suffer. All their other motivations disappear and they become motivated by love alone." The little soul began to understand and listened attentively as God continued, "The suffering soul unlocks the love in people's hearts much like the sun and the rain unlock the flower within the seed. I created everyone with endless love in their heart, but unfortunately most people keep it locked up and hardly share it with anyone. They are afraid to let their love shine freely, because they are afraid of being hurt. But a suffering soul unlocks that love. I tell you this - it is the greatest miracle of all. Many souls have bravely chosen to go into the world and suffer - to unlock this love - to create this miracle for the good of all humanity."

Just then the little soul got a wonderful idea and could hardly contain himself. With his wings fluttering, bouncing up and down, the little soul excitedly replied. "I am brave; let me go! I would like to go into the world and suffer so that I can unlock the goodness and love in people's hearts! I want to create that miracle!" God smiled and said, "You are a brave soul I know, and thus I will grant your request. But even though you are very brave you will not be able to do this alone. I have known since the beginning of time that you would ask for this and so I have carefully selected many souls to care for you on your journey. Those souls will help you create your miracle; however they will also share in your suffering. Two of these souls are most special and will care for you, help you and suffer along with you, far beyond the others. They have already chosen a name for you". God and the brave soul shared a smile, and then embraced.

In parting, God said, "Do not forget little soul that I will be with you always. Although you have agreed to bear the pain, you will do so through my strength. And if the time should come when you feel that you have suffered enough, just say the word, think the thought, and you will be healed." Thus at that moment the brave little soul was born into the world, and through his suffering and God's strength, he unlocked the goodness and love in people's hearts. For so many people dropped their differences and came together to show their love. Priorities became properly aligned. People gave from their hearts. Those that were always too busy found time. Many began new spiritual journeys, some regained lost faith - many came back to God. Parents hugged their children tighter. Friends and family grew closer. Old friends got together and new friendships were made. Distant family reunited, and every family spent more time together. Everyone prayed. Peace and love reigned. Lives changed forever. It was good. The world was a better place. The miracle had happened. God was pleased.

Friday, January 20, 2012

No Rest for the Weary

I had high hopes for this week, a couple days off school, planned to host a Scentsy party, meet with Dawson's teacher and get out in public and work on potty training with Dawson.

Tuesday did go well, my sister came over as planned and we had fun. She dyed my hair again since my mostly gray roots were really showing. We all went to the mall afterward for some fun. I had a gift card, so I actually looked for clothes, for myself! I did end up with a shirt and necklace. Potty training in public didn't go so well. He did sit on the toddler potty in the mall, but didn't go. He wet his pants about a minute later and didn't care. He has been staying dry at home though.

We went to the play area in the mall afterward for Dawson. There were many kids there. When Dawson was learning to walk, I got so annoyed at those kids who ran around and knocked people over and didn't watch where they were going. Well I quickly realized that I now have the child who's running around and not watching where he's going. Even worse, he was pulling on their clothes and trying to tackle them, shoving them and just going crazy. This his where his lack of social skills and his Autism really show. Of course most people have no clue, there being no physical characteristics, so they just look at him as an out of control child. We pulled him aside each time and talked about being gentle and not pushing, etc, but it was loud and crazy and after he passed the first child nicely it seemed my instructions had already been forgotten. He doesn't realize that just because he and Tyler would play rough doesn't mean he can do that with other children. He also doesn't understand boundries and personal space. He will get up in someone's face, just about touching noses and growl at them. We took turns battling the madness of wild running children to get to him to redirect. We let him play long enough to get some energy out and let Gabriel nurse before going home. I think after a longer than normal weekend, he really needed to run off some energy. It's been too cold to take walks outside lately.

Tuesday night I got hit by a cold. It's crazy how fast they can come on. By bedtime I had a bad headache and plugged sinuses. I knew I was in for a long day. Sure enough, my head was so stuffed I could barely move without being dizzy. The kids got colds too, seemed to show up around the same time. They both woke up crabby and an hour earlier than usual. We pretty much had a movie day and lounged around.

Thursday had quite an interesting start. I was woken up 2 hours earlier than usual by Gabriel who was stuffed up and hungry. I brought him back to bed to nurse. About 20 minutes later Dawson came to the side of my bed and puked on it. 15 minutes later he had diarrhea all over the hallway. Poor kid looked horrified. He'd been doing so well staying dry and messes were starting to really bother him. I kept telling him it was ok and not his fault. He seemed more relieved once it was cleaned up. Thank goodness for buying that carpet cleaner, we've used it many times just this week. We have very light tan carpet too, it's hard to keep clean. We canceled school, therapy, teacher meeting and Scentsy party. Was feeling pretty down about this week. I haven't exercised in 3 days either, just haven't felt the energy or motivation at all.

This morning I woke up thinking today has got to be better than yesterday. I guess that depends on what you prefer cleaning up. Today it was toilet water, about 1/4 inch covering the entire bathroom floor. Dawson had unrolled the entire toilet paper roll and tried flushing it several times. I heard flushes, he does that a lot, he'll pee a little and flush it and repeat until he's done. It drives me nuts but he can't be convinced to wait until he's done. Then I heard water splashing and hurried to the bathroom to find the standing water with a baby happily sitting in the middle of it splashing and having a great time. Dawson was standing next to the toilet with this guilty look on his face. I removed Gabriel and got his clothes off while I yelled for Dan to come help me out. He arrived and Dawson said "oh dammit". Apparently he already knew what Daddy's reaction was going to be! He hasn't copied a swear word before though. Thankfully he hasn't said it again either. I admit I had to fight the urge to laugh, as those words sound so funny coming from his cute little voice. We ignored it though, as he really obsesses about things we make a big deal out of. We got the bathroom mopped up and thankfully had a fairly restful day.

Gabriel had a pretty good day. He figured out how to clap and he's pretty proud of himself. He's been practicing often. He also figured out how to really get into something. He already knew how to open and shut cupboard doors, but today he really took a look inside and thought it would be fun to start taking things out. I'm really in denial that toddlerhood is right around the corner! In a way I'm really just not ready for Gabriel to take over the things Tyler was doing, and to pass up his age. I know we have a ways to go for that, but he already seems so close sometimes. I couldn't resist getting a picture. He was so proud of himself. I called his name and asked him what he was doing and he just grinned.
 I'm still a bit nervous about his hemoglobin. I know they said not to worry, but I can't help it. He's on  vitamin drops with iron now and we won't find out until his 1 year appointment the end of March if it's gone up. Sometimes it can take a while to go up though. Things like this make me worry. Tyler was always falling asleep in toys and things. Gabriel really falls asleep easier than he used to. He is very active when he's awake though.

It's been just over 2 1/2 months without Tyler and things are very different. It feels like he is a distant memory, even though it's really not been that long at all. I'm afraid of losing memories, the way he did things, said things and the sound of his voice. Every now and then I'll think of something, or someone will say something and I realize I had almost forgot and this panic just washes over me. Some days it feels like Tyler was just a dream. I don't understand why, we spend 2 1/2 years with him and only a few months without. I go back and look at pictures and it all comes back. Sometimes the good memories, and sometimes I just realize the bad, all that he suffered in his short life here. It's really just not fair. I really try to focus on the happy things though, we did have a fun year at home. I sure do miss this cute little boy.
I'm always amazed at people and how much they care. I guess when people say they'll never forget Tyler, I often wonder how long that will last. Well I just got this pic sent to my email, of a tatoo a friend got in honor of Tyler. Wow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Record Low

It's been a difficult week since I last posted. I sunk further down until I could barely function. I had a hard time getting out of bed, had no motivation to get off the couch either. I was doing the bare minimum and wasn't even eating much, I just had no appetite. My self esteem was sinking too. So I talked to some friends who lost their children also and they said it's very normal to need some help. Depression often sets in and it hard to get out of on your own. I talked to the Dr who gave me a questionaire and ended up giving me meds for it. I felt even more defeated, like I'd failed and given up. Thankfully my friends reminded me that accepting the help of meds is not a sign of failure, but a sign of being strong enough to accept help and do what's best for me, my kids and my family. So I try to think of that when I'm feeling down about it.

They told me it might take up to 2-4 weeks for the meds to fully kick in and do their job. I was feeling the difference in just a few days though. The bad thoughts went away and I started feeling more motivated, more alive. I'm thankful to know such caring people who were willing to share their experiences and help me out. Dr also says exercise is an important part of this. I've been working on weight loss anyway, so I now have one more reason to make sure to get that workout in each day. I do 30 minutes on the Wii Active game. It's actually quite a tiring workout, but it feels good getting it done.

On Friday I started potty training Dawson again. We had put it on hold until we had a more stable lifestyle again since he regressed while we were in the hospital. He's doing great! We went from diapers to underwear. He never cared if he was wet or not, he'd go all day being wet if I'd let him, so I was worried how it would go. He didn't like the leaky underwear though, and quickly learned that he needs to use the toilet to keep from making a mess. We're on Day 4 of potty training now and he's been dry the whole time he's at home, which was most of the day. We went to the mall with my sister and he didn't seem to care about the potty there. It will be a lot more work, but I'm happy with how far he's come just at home!

We are getting out of the house again. I helped a friend move on Saturday, which felt great both for the exercise and just helping someone makes a person feel good. I'm also hosting a Scensy party this friday at 6:30pm. Here's the event info if anyone is interested https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1074858544&ref=tn_tnmn#!/events/307024866007380/

These are pics from ECFE class on Thursday night. Dawson liked playing with the animal train. It was good to see them get out and have some fun.

 They love the ball pit
 When I told Dawson we were going to class, he said he wanted to swing with Gabriel. He did this every week with Tyler and it was their favorite thing. It was bittersweet doing this again. Dawson jumped right into it and started smooching on Gabriel for pictures. He likes seeing pictures right away after I take them, so he's pretty motivated to do things for pictures. Sometimes they are goofy faces, but he does some pretty cute stuff too! Gabriel loved being in there with Dawson too, he just cuddled right up to him.