Saturday, February 11, 2012

Joys and Trials

This week I've either been suffering or having too much fun to post a new blog. Tuesday I went for a walk and tried running for maybe 30 seconds. Dumb idea, ended up having an asthma attack and Dan had to come pick me up a mile down the road. I haven't been exercising as much lately and I really wanted to get back to it. It's been pretty cold this week though and it looked nicer out than it was. I can't handle the cold as well. I wasn't able to go skating that night, so Dan went by himself while I went to JcPenny's and spent a gift card! Got some shirts for myself, jeans for Dawson and I found this cool thing on clearance from Christmas. It started out as $54.99 but had been clearanced many times and was now only $5! Dawson loves it. He likes those touchless paper towel dispensers in stores and loves the idea of getting treats. He is constantly asking me for more cereal, he's very much a grazer, so it's been really nice for him to just go get a handful now and then. I can change the amount he gets or just turn it off when I want. It's supposed to be for candy and treats, but cereal works pretty good too.
On a happy note, I'm continuing to lose weight, about 2 pounds per week lately! I'm down 11 pounds since November. Not bad with 2 food holidays in the middle! Still about 50 pounds from my ultimate goal, but only 4 pounds from my first short-term goal, which feels so good!

Dawson is doing great. He's loving his therapists. He actually woke up at 5:15am on Friday asking for Cheryl. I told him he has a few hours to sleep first, so he cuddled in my bed and slept. I'm not sure how a sleeping person can move that much, but I never sleep well when he's in with me. I get elbowed in the face, he'll roll over and headbutt my nose if I happen to start drifting off. Then he moved my pillow so he could lay on it better and I was left without.  9am finally came around and he was happy to see her. He had woken up 10 minutes earlier and I told him she'd be here in 10 minutes, thinking he would get up, but he layed right back down and slept for those 10 minutes!

He seems so much older now. He's gaining more words and his sentences are getting more complete. It's crazy to think that just a year ago he was barely saying 2 word sentences and now he has so many words. He's adding all those filler words. He used to say "more please" and now it's "Can I have more cereal please?" Everyday there's at least a couple sentences that make me stop and admire what he just said. One of his therapy phrases that they're working on pronouncing is "Lets eat lunch". I asked him if he wanted fish sticks and he said yes, then grinned and said "Lets eat lunch!"  So not only can he say it, he placed it with the correct situation. He is just flying through all his therapy programs. They have to start out fairly easy to establish routine and cooperation before things get more challenging. I'm excited to add some new goals to his plan and really start working on things. One of them is going to be his social skills. In about a month or so they will start working on the new goals.

We went to the mall play area again and Dawson did better with listening and being in control of his body. He often just gets excited and runs around without noticing other children. He was even trying to play with other kids this time, he just doesn't understand how to do it. He was chasing some girls around, then was pushing them down the little slide before they were ready, or off the other things. I pulled him aside and talked to him several times. He was better for a while and then started forgetting again. He pushed a little boy off something and the kid landed on his chest. That was the end of it. I made sure he watched as the boy went crying to his mom and got picked up. Dawson looked a little sheepish, but was more mad about having to go home. I had told him if he pushes anyone we were going home, so he knew that was it. I had him go over and say sorry, he wouldn't say it, he was still mad, but he seemed to realize what he did. Thankfully the little boy was just fine.

It's so hard to practice social situations with the fear of hurting someone. It's just one of those things, he won't learn if we don't practice, but we sure don't want anyone to get hurt either. I'm looking forward to summer so we can have the choice of many playgrounds instead of just the 1 indoor place where there's 20 kids in a small area. He really needed to get out and play though, he was feeling cooped up. A bonus, we did see a friend there and I got to hold her sweet 1 month old baby girl and she even smiled at me. :)

Dawson asked for a hug the other day and afterward he smiled at me, rubbed my cheek and said "you're adorable". It was so cute the way he said it, a new word for him. He's been getting some attitude in his speech lately. It's somewhat amusing and sometimes just a scary reminder of how fast he's growing up! He'll say things like "I don't think so mom", "Ummm no", "I don't want to", "Aw, no fair!", "Moooooom". Or when he wants something he'll come up to me and say "Look at me mom, look at me!" Gotta love hearing those things I say to him come back to me. Making eye contact has always been essential for getting him to really listen to me, so now he's demanding it too. The attitude that he says these things with is often just amusing though. Reminds me a bit of a teenage girl attitude, only a bit less intense.

Dawson did great tonight, he even earned an ice cream cone! He pooped on the potty. He'd been going in his pants. It's tough because sometimes he's constipated and sometimes it's the opposite, so he never knows how it will be and is almost afraid to go. We're still working on finding the right amount of laxitive for him too. You'd think after a year we'd figure it out, but it seems like it's always changing, and now that he's not getting the gluten anymore it's changing again!

He was very excited about his cone. It's a rare treat. I couldn't even get him to stop bouncing it around for a picture. :)
 We often work on recognizing emotions. He's getting pretty good at doing the faces. This is his sad face.
 Happy face!
 I didn't quite understand what he called this face. He often makes up silly faces.
 His Puffins, one of the gluten-free cereals. This stuff is $5 something for a 10oz box! He really likes them though.
 Gabriel got tired and fell asleep after supper. He reminds me of Tyler here, pale lips and all. Not sure if I'll be able to wait until the end of March to get another hemoglobin check. It's driving me crazy watching for signs all the time and knowing he was a bit low already.
 My boys are getting so big!
Whatever happened to these little boys?! This was taken in August.
 Speaking of big, guess who climbed up on the dishwasher to reach the counter! Notice how he's not quite holding onto the counter either, though he's reaching for it. He can stand on his own for at least 10 seconds now. He's getting pretty good at it. He can stand and clap, or do his little knee bend jumps a little bit without falling over. I'm thinking he'll take his first step before the end of the month. He's already thinking about it.
Gabriel is loving that mall play area. Sometimes when I'm watching Dawson too close, suddenly Gabriel will be gone! I'll look and he'll be on the opposite side, playing with the stuff on the wall. He's crawling so fast! He can even stand up almost by himself. He only needs something low to start out with and then he just stands himself up. He also gave Daddy and I both a kiss on the cheek the other day, complete with kissy sound. It was so adorable! He did it again this morning.

Tomorrow we're off to Mall of America. The Children's Oncology ward always puts on a few events each year. I hadn't thought of going until many moms asked if they'd get to see us, so then we decided it would be fun and good for Dawson to get out. Going to places we've been with Tyler is always tough. It was his first experience with rides and he had fun there. Now we'll see many bald little heads, which I really haven't seen since Tyler died either. It's going to be a harsh reminder of the life we no longer have. I asked if we'd even qualify to go and the Child Life lady said we should come if we're comfortable and she'd like to see us again anyway. I think it will be good to see all the supportive people and some staff we knew though. I'm mostly just excited for Dawson, he loves rides so much, he'll be very excited.


Kari said...

Fun!!! I'm so thankful to read your posts as I nanny next week for a family with 3 kids and one has Autism, so I will be using some of your tips:)
Thank you!!!

Mrs. Permissive said...

Hey Stephanie, great post as usual! Just wanted to let you know you can get Puffins cereal down at Trader Joes in Maple Grove for less than $4 a box, so if you are ever driving through. :-)

ldizzle said...

(((hugs))) i am a follower of tyler on fb and u have such a beautiful family and such a wonderful little angel watching over you <3