Friday, October 5, 2012

Fun in the Leaves

October! The time is going so fast. Dawson has been in school for a month and they finally did get him a para, but only subs everyday. Nobody is hired yet. The inconsistancy of it all has really been tough, especially with his behaviors. He has been really improving in some areas though, he's just a bit more on edge. He had an ear infection, then a viral rash, so he's been sent home twice in 2 weeks.

He still won't go to bed before he falls asleep, or is at least very close to sleep. I know it's Tyler related, but he never wants to talk about it.
 He's been loving horse therapy! He only has 1 week left, I'm so bummed for him. He loves his horse and talks about her all the time to everyone.

 Gabriel was watching tv. He's usually not very interested in tv, but since he's discovered that he can learn words there too, he's been tuning in. His vocabulary is getting huge! He even has several phrases now.
 We had this in the hallway for a bit, while re-arranging and he decided it would make a great spot to play with his cars.
 Everyday after school the boys sit on the couch and relax together. Gabriel loves it when he does flash cards or other word-learning apps. He's a very active learner. :)
 Gabriel and I took a walk down to the river. There's a little downhill path. In the year we've lived here, I haven't gone down to the river before! It was fun, and very pretty with all the fall colors.
 He was excited to find rocks, sticks and water
 Pretty view! The adorable boy helps too.
 I thought this was such a Tyler face. It's nice seeing him in glances and different angles.
 Mommy and Gabriel
 Egg and spoon race!
 Northcrest Gym. Gabriel loved all the ground-level trampolines, foam pit, slide, and balance beams. He wasn't quite sure about the high balance beams though.
 Foam pit
 Sitting is a bit better
 Dawson's school pic. For some reason, despite sending him in a nice shirt on the day they claimed was school pics day, we had the wrong day. He looks younger there though. Most of his pics lately have looked a little more mature I think. I was just curious which "Dawson face" they would end up with for school pics. They can get quite interesting and extreme when asked to smile! ;)
 Gabriel loving the leaves

 Dawson is very impressed with the number of leaves. He says "100 leaves, no...200!"

 Lots of fun running aorund
 Gabriel wasn't really in the mood for pics today, but thankfully Dawson was mostly cooperative, so we did ok.

 Walking down to the river
 Gabriel was pretty excited
 Dawson was being super sweet today

 Silly brothers

 I told Dawson to smile. He produced this. I still can't stop laughing everytime I see this pic.
 I love Gabriel's face. These boys are getting so close. It's fun to see, yet I can't help but wonder how their dynamics would be with all 3.
 Dawson was being a good sport about pics. Gabriel was not in the mood!

 He was better once Dawson started throwing leaves on him though.

 Adorable boy
 Gabriel had some bed-head this morning. He's such a happy kid in the morning.
 Gabriel is uber excited about his new toy rocking horse. We found it at Once Upon a Child and he hasn't stopped playing with it much since!

 He even gives his horse random hugs throughout the day.
 Dawson likes it too, and has decided to name her Sanjay, just like his horse.
 Today I asked Gabriel if he wants a nap and he ran to his room. He paused, and ran over to Tyler's bottom bunk instead of his crib. So he slept there. He did get up once. I heard him say "goodbye!" and he left the room, but a reminder about that nap made him run back in and then he fell asleep. Getting to be such a big boy.
It's been 11 months without Tyler now. Some things are better, some are worse. It's a rollercoaster. I was sick with a lung infection for 3 weeks, then a fever for 2 days. Dawson had an ear infection and a viral rash. Gabriel had an ear infection. Illness and similar things have really given Dawson a lot of anxiety. I got him from school and he was crying because he was sick. I told him we're just going home to rest and he was ok with that. Then the 102 fever hit and some raspy breathing, so I made him an appt and took him in. Upon hearing we were going to the Dr, he really started crying and freaking out. Turned out to be an ear infection and we just got some meds and went home. At any discomfort, he worries that he is sick. When he thinks sick, it's obvious he thinks of Tyler. He doesn't understand the different levels of sick. I have to explain repeatedly that he will get better quickly and it's not a bad type of sick. I hate that kids have to have such PTSD and anxiety. I'm hoping it won't get much worse than this.
Gabriel had his 18 month appointment yesterday. He is now 25 pounds, 8 ounces and 32 inches tall. His counts were finally good this time. His iron was within normal range and his cell size is much better too. Dr says to stop the iron and just take a vitamin with iron instead. I'm nervous to see how he'll do. Dawson is 43 pounds 8 ounces.
Fall makes me think of the Ronald McDonald House. Tyler's first fall was spent there, and his last fall we were there there too. He only had 1 at home, and he had so much fun in the leaves. In 2010 I said I missed RMH, there's just something about the fall and the warmth of all the people there that is so memorable. Tyler relapsed and I got another fall there! Not really what I actually wanted! Now it's fall again and I find myself missing it again. It's so weird, because the reason for being there is so much stress! Yet being inside on a cold day and having people to talk to, who can understand what we're going through because everyone there is suffering. Now we are still suffering, but are surrounded by nobody who knows what it's like.
Dawson and Tyler running through the leaves. October 2010.
I had a meeting with Dawson's team at school the other day. We all agreed that academics are not his weak spot! He already knows all the words required by the end of the year, they are working on counting to 10 and 20, while Dawson can count and recognize numbers into the thousands! She said she was quizzing him, and just kept going out of curiosity and he even knew odd numbers like 1,452 and said it correctly. They were asking if they can do an IQ test, mostly out of curiosity. I'm excited to see the results of that!
His social skills have really improved over the summer, thanks to some friends, having kids over a lot and working with the boys on sharing as well. The Autism Center did his yearly evaluation and dropped the Autism diagnosis! He is now back to PDD-NOS, which is Pervasive Developmental Disorder - not otherwise specified. In other words, he's still on the Autism spectrum, he just doesn't have "classic Autism". The PDD does mean he has social delays and other signs of Autism, he's just getting more high functioning and is able to learn lots! We were told that he would likely drop back into that category, but I was not expecting that to happen in just a year! He was given that diagnosis when he was 3, and then when the Autism experts evaluated, they gave him the full Autism diagnosis. It was great reading the reports and seeing all the progress. He did fall behind in 1 area, which is his emotional status, possible depression. I'm leaning more towards PTSD. He's seen more horrible things in his lifetime than most adults ever will, and worse, it was his brother, his best friend. Being that we started when he had no words and very limited understanding, it's hard to catch him up, to get him to look back and understand what all happened. Some days I wonder that myself! Most of the time he doesn't want to talk about it. He shuts down and I don't want to force him and make things worse. I just wish I knew what he was thinking, what all he understands.
I thought it would be amusing to share some of the goofy faces and pics that just didn't work so well.
Dawson was trying so hard to look happy and get Gabriel to hold still!
 Giving up on holding him there, but here's a goofy smile!
 What is with this shocked face? Tyler had a few of these too.
 Tense up and be happy!
Can't forget Gabriel's tongue!
 Not in the mood Gabriel, but Dawson was so cute in this one!
 Lean in and smile!
 Another mad Gabriel and adorable Dawson!
We backed up and went inside after that. :)