Sunday, July 29, 2012


We've had a fun July so far. The 4th we got together with friends and did fireworks.
 Gabriel and Dawson enjoying the fireworks
 We've had lots of water fun this summer! Playdates, splash pads, friends and community pools. They are becoming fish! Up until this summer, Dawson would not tolerate getting his face wet. Now he is jumping into the pool, standing under the dumping buckets of water and loving being totally soaked. He can now swim on his own with a life jacket on. Gabriel is getting good at holding his breath too. He was going down the little kid waterslide, and being the very independent boy that he is, fell into the water many times in the wading pool, going completely under, and still insisted on walking in the pool by himself. Crazy boy! He kept shooing my hands away when I'd be ready to catch him too! He also paddles his arms and kicks his feet to swim after the ball in the pool. He's learning fast! Swimming is something I was never good at, and still really can't do well, so I really want my boys to be able to do it. Especially with all the water accidents you hear about, and Autistic kids are twice as likely to drown than other kids, since they have less awareness of dangers. I'd say his pool/water awareness has greatly improved, but he still doesn't realize he can't swim without a life jacket, so I need to work on that someday when I have another person to help me out.

 Dawson and his imaginary squirrel "Jumpy"
 Happy 5th Birthday!
 Dawson being a ham
 He loved his singing Toy Story card
 and his Curious George books
 and his board games!
 Gabriel was so tired after the pool!
 We've played in some indoor places. This was the Eden Prairie mall.
 Dawson loves all the deer in our backyard! We see them often.
 My MOPS retreat. The view from the loft hallway. It was a mansion, owned by a retired doctor and his wife. They were so nice letting us use their place for our retreat. It was so pretty and peaceful.
 View out the back door.
 HopeKids event! Majestic Hills Ranch
 Waiting in line for the horse rides. Dawson doesn't usually ride in the stroller, but I brought the double along just for the shade! We needed it.
 I wasn't sure how Gabriel would like the ride, or if he'd even be interested in staying on. He loved it! He looked totally serious the whole way around, but he was so mad when we made him get off!
Not happy that we stopped!
 Dawson loved it! If you click on the pics you can see his huge smiles.

 Gabriel sleeping in. He always wakes up early, then comes in to cuddle with me. :)
 They've been enjoying our balcony pool
 My view from in the apartment
 Dawson in the bouncy house at a friend's benefit
 Gabriel loves swinging

 Dawson looking at the clouds

 An empty swing, that shouldn't be. :(
 Splash pad! Dawson was waiting for the bucket to dump
 We thought Gabriel's penguin walk was so funny. He does this at splash pads.
 Dawson knew the bucket was going to dump, and Gabriel doesn't like that, so he was moving him out of the way. He's so sweet! Nobody told him to do that either.
 Gabriel was mad about being moved, but he'd be madder if he got soaked! He doesn't like the unexpected water stuff.

 Dawson's face after the water dumped on him. He was so funny!
 Waiting for it again!

 Gabriel getting tickled by my sister, Sarah

 Playing hide and seek with me
 Today we went to a childhood cancer event for the local families. I was invited, so we went. Gabriel loved the dogs. They had a dog show and he got to pet some of them. Dawson mostly liked watching the dogs go through the course. He thought it was pretty funny.
 Gabriel got a sticker tatoo. He held out his arm for it and everything.
 Then he stared at it for the next 15 minutes, holding up his arm. He's over it now though.
The best part of my day was seeing this girl. She was the first child we met after Tyler was diagnosed. She was 2 years old and had just relapsed for the 3rd time and was heading for her 2nd bone marrow transplant. Her mom isn't on facebook and doesn't keep up with her caringbridge much, so I've been wondering for the last 2 years if this girl was alive. She was the cutest thing and loved Tyler. They'd giggle at eachother and he was "her" baby. It was very surprising when I saw her mom today! She never relapsed again and is a happy, healthy 5 year old! Amazing.
 Doesn't she look great?! Seeing her just made me so happy. We were inpatient with her for 6 months, so I felt very close to them. There are other kids I often wonder about as well. Hopefully someday I'll hear a good end to their story too.

I found this on facebook and it's so true! Thank you for reading and wanting to understand. It means a lot.

I need to talk about my loss.
I may often need to tell you what happened-
... or to ask you why it happened.
Each time I discuss my loss, I am helping myself
face reality of the death of my loved one.
I need to know that you care about me.
I need to feel your touch, your hugs.
I need you just to be with me (and I need to be with you).
I need to know you believe in me and in my
ability to get through my grief in my own way
(and in my own time)

Please don't judge me now -
or think that I'm behaving strangely.
Remember I'm grieving.
I may even be in shock.
I may feel afraid. I may feel deep rage.
I may even feel guilty. But above all, I hurt.
I'm experiencing pain unlike any I've ever felt before.
Don't worry if you think I'm getting better
and then suddenly I seem to slip backward.
Grief makes me behave this way at times.
And please don't tell me you "Know how I feel",
or that it's time for me to get on with my life.
(I am probably already saying this to myself).

What I need now is time to grieve and to recover.
Most of all, thank you for being my friend.
Thank you for your patience.
Thank you for your caring.
Thank you for helping, and understanding.
Thank you for praying for me.
And remember, in the days or years ahead,
After your loss - when you need me
as I needed you - I will understand.
And then I will come and be with you.