Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer is Here!

It has been a very busy few weeks for us! Therapy has picked up, we have 2 new therapists, making 4 that work with Dawson now, both morning and after school. Next week it will be 9-5 or 8:30-4:30. Makes for a long day! Some days he will get an hour break between the shifts though. Usually it will be 9-noon and 1-5.

Dawson has been making so much progress! His toddler babble has really cut down and he is using very full sentences! He just got an ipad and we are using it as a therapy and learning tool. He's been doing sight words and out of 4 choices can pick the right one everytime with the first try! I'd say he knows at least 50 words now. He also learned rough, smooth and some other concepts.

Gabriel is walking all over the place, almost running at times! He's been building his vocabulary as well. He can say Dawson, go-go-go, and many other things. He loves having playmates over and is a very social little guy!

We have been practicing good behaviors. I started making short videos of good behavior, since Dawson responds well to watching himself do things. We have a video of him singing where he gets up on the back of the couch. Everytime he sings the ABCs now, he just has to get onto the back of the couch, because it was on the video. So I'm trying to get some of him doing good things and then remind him of that. I even plan to put them on the ipad if I can, to remind him of the right way to do things. The store is one of our struggles and I did get some good videos. I felt goofy taking pics and video in the store, but oh well!
 I got these cube shelves at a garage sale right at our apartment! They wanted to be caged in. :)
Tada! An organized playroom, where the games are no longer at small child reach, and everything is visible. They have been playing with much more now that they can see what they have instead of it all being in a toybox. The therapists are loving it too.
 Gabriel and I, taken at a playdate.
 This was the Blair's Tree of Hope 5k. My friend Katie and her daughter came with us to walk as Team Tyler. Gabriel enjoyed walking as much as he was able.

 He didn't mind getting carried too much either
 Dawson found a huge stick and decided to pull it along with him for a while
We had some water and goodies after the walk
 This is Blair's mom, Kim and I. She has been so supportive of me. Her daughter died 5 years ago after a bone marrow biopsy and she has done wonderful things for other childhood cancer families. She came to visit us in the ICU during our last weeks there and has been so helpful and a huge support!

 The 5k was at a lake park reserve, so we got to go down by the lake as well.
 Dawson loved the sand! One of his favorite things.
 He liked wading in the water too, though still felt the need to hike up his shorts. ;)
 Brianna and Gabriel playing in the sand
 I thought this one was so cute, baby steps!
 Gabriel and Alchemy "helping" me organize the playroom
 Happy Birthday to me! I turned 27 on May 23rd. We went to Olive Garden and a movie (Avengers).
 Our once a month therapist meeting to discuss progress, goals and programs. 5 ladies in 1 room was a bit overwhelming for him, so I took a pic so I can show him in advance what to prepare for before they all walk in.
 I got Dawson's coat hook picture back since school was done yesterday, June 6th. The one on the top was from the beginning of last year, he was 3! The bottom is his 4 year pic from the beginning of the year.
 Gabriel looking adorable as usual
 I like having a balcony! I put a tub of water and suds to play in. It's not much, mostly just for the suds and Gabriel loves it!
 Watching them discover things is the best!
 I added more suppliments to Dawson's list and he has made huge progress! The RevitaPops are MB12, often given as a shot, but these work just as well. His speech and many things have really blossomed since starting these! I noticed a big difference within just several days of starting. The other ones are Enhansa and Herbathione, which detox the yeast and other stuff from his system. He sure needed it, he was grouchy and irritable for days, but when the large amount of yeast came out, his behaviors have drastically improved! He had a large yeast rash for a few days but thankfully I already had the cream for that. We've since backed off to a maintenance dose a couple times a week.
 A common sight in our house, extra kids. :)  The girls were having fun on the ipad and Tag reader, having some quiet time so I could clean the playroom and the boys were sharing a snack.
 Gabriel was being a ham, so I had to get some pics.

 Gabriel loves his new little chair! He sits in it everyday. Got it at Target in the seasonal section. I like that it's sturdier than some kid's chairs. He can climb onto it, stand up, turn around and sit and it doesn't get tippy.
 Dawson's last day of school!
 Dawson's bus
 They had a little performance in his class for parents. 3/4 of the room was filled with parents on chairs and they were all sitting up front on the floor to sing 5 songs. He shut down and got shy, overwhelmed.
 Once in a while he would peek at me and go back to hiding.

 The teacher had him sit by her so maybe he'd be less overwhelmed and more focused, but he didn't change much.
 He came and sat by me for the last couple songs and was still on edge a bit
 But he eventually relaxed and started enjoying the songs
 Gabriel loved the songs and was hopping to the music most of the time.
 We played outside afterward

 Dawson was relieved to be outside and away from the crowded classroom
 We had lots of fun

 Afterward I got him an ice cream cone for a last day of school treat
 Cute that they made up diplomas!
 This was a birthday playdate we went to, Dawson liked the pinata
 Today we babysat this cutie, she's my friend's neighbor's baby girl. She asked me to watch her today since she had an appt. Gabriel loved having her around.
 He swooped in to check her out and decided she would be fun to play with
 Then he got all snuggly
 Checked out her 2 new teeth, they are sharp!
 Even decided to give her some kisses
 She is pretty darn adorable. :)
 Oh, and all babies must like balls, right? So cute that he thought to bring her a toy to play with. He's such a sweet little guy!
 Dawson was being my helper while we got ready to go to the park, he held her bottle and thought that was pretty neat to be able to do that.
I've been having some good days and some bad days. We just passed our 7 month mark without Tyler. It seems like it's been so long since we last saw him. Some days I feel more motivated and other days it's still hard to get off the couch. I've been so forgetful and scatterbrained too, seems like grieving messes with everything. Yesterday was so tough I actually got physically sore, I was shakey and my chest hurt for several hours. It's not a new feeling, just what happens when I get overwhelmed with grief. When I got to Dawson's school for his parent time, as I parked I realized it would've been Tyler's last day of his 3yo class and I should be watching him sing as well. I was 15min late getting to Dawson's class because I had to stop bawling first, then hope I don't look too scary as I walk into the school! I get hungry but nothing tastes good. I do the bare minimum most days but thankfully I'll occasionally have a great day and get a lot accomplished. I cleaned the main carpets and got some things organized in the last couple weeks. Still taking one day at a time, often 1 hour at a time, 7 months later. Some people seem to think parents should just move on and be done having issues by now, but it is still often a daily struggle.

I have started something new, something for myself, thought it started with Dawson. Project Astride is a Horse Therapy program for kids and adults with disabilities. Dawson will be riding starting in August. I did my training last week and will be starting my weekly volunteer shifts next week. I will be helping them brush, saddle and ride, walking along side of them so they don't fall, teaching them how to turn, stop and play along with the class. They do some fun games and other things. It's a great program! Here's the link, if anyone wants to watch the video on this page that shows the place and what they do.  It feels good to get back in the barn, something I love to do. I took my first horse leader training as well, but will need more training before I do that job. It is very detailed and tough! They say it usually takes at least a few trainings to pass, the next one is in August.

We have a very busy month coming up, but I hope to keep up with this better!!


Mama of 4 Monkeys said...

We lost our son as well a few years back and you're right it is very difficult. You can be going about your day and realize what should be, but is not and completely break down. I know what you're saying about people thinking that you should be over grieving, but there is no time. The loss of a child is forever and there is no time limit on grieving. I used to think, what is wrong with me, why am I still going through this? The truth is you never really get over it, you have to make a new normal. I still find myself sometimes thinking of how I wish I could go back to the way I was, but this forever changes you. So many of my friends, just didn't talk about our son Michael after his passing, thinking "It would upset me." The truth is it makes it much worse and yes, youare already upset, they can't make it any worse, only better. You want to know that other's haven't forgotten about your child's life and their memory. I understand where they are coming from, but know that yes we are hurting, but you asking will only bring a sense of peace and comfort in knowing that our child was not forgotten, nor are we. You are doing a great job with the boys, keep up the good work. Their smiles are so sweet. Your a good mom. When I couldn't get off the couch our 3yr old would bring his cars to me and we'd play on the couch, those moments stay with me and are so sweet. At first I felt guilty, I wasn't who I once was and hoped to be again soon. If you can't get off the couch, it's ok those moment are special too. You will make a new normal for yourself and over time the pain will be more tolerable. You will find new ways to cope with each day that passes. With love, Gail

Katy Z said...

You are an amazing mom who has been through more than I can imagine (and I have been through a lot). All that you do for your kids and the love you have for all of them is wonderful. I hope the hurt and pain becomes more tolerable...I can't say that it will go away, but I am sending you so much love and strength to get though this. xxx