Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas and Children's Museum

This month has been really up and down, but mostly up. I have had a lack of motivation mostly. The tree never got decorated. It's a pre-lit, so it still looks pretty in the evening. Gabriel has knocked it down 4 or 5 times, and is a bit of a tree terror, so that made my motivation to decorate even smaller. He did play with it a lot, he thought running his horses on it was very fun.
 Dawson loves to plug it in every night
 On the 11th we went to the Children's Museum, it was a HopeKids event. We had a huge snowstorm 2 days prior and got a foot of snow, so getting there was interesting. Not all of it was cleared away, and it was a bit icy, so traffic was slow and we got there an hour late, despite leaving an hour early. The kids were not thrilled with being in the car for 3 1/2 hours, especially in stop and go traffic. We had 1 hour to play once we got there, and it looked like many others were coming in at the same time, or even after. They still had lots of fun, and Dawson has been asking every day to go back. I told him we will after the new calendar is up.

He loved the elevator. He still is obsessed with pretending our sliding closet doors are elevators.
 Gabriel was a bit leary of the big, busy place. He loved all the water, and walked around saying "oooh!", but really didn't touch anything in the first exhibit. I had brought extra clothes and everything!
 They loved the bus
 Gabriel and Daddy loved the foam blocks room. Dan was stacking them up, and Gabriel would giggle and run to knock them all over.
 This was by far everyone's favorite room. They rolled balls around and around, down ramps with hills, and a huge one like a roller coaster too. It has always been a big interest of Dawson's.
 Gabriel has been requesting popcorn lately, so the boys have had some popcorn movie nights before bed.
 A very sleepy Dawson after a busy day. I went to tell him to get off the computer and go to bed, he hadn't even been sitting there that long!
 Footie pjs! Someone gave us a bag of clothes, and it had a couple of these in there. He thought they were hilarious! He was always a warm baby and didn't like warm pjs, but now he's been asking for them, and giggling about it.
 Animals! We went to my parent's house on Christmas Eve in the afternoon. Gabriel got several small animals, and a stuffed horse and puppy. They are adorable stuffed animals! He is loving them all.
 Dawson was excited to see his Cat in the Hat game, Math game for his handheld Leapfrog game, and a little Hungry Hippos game. He's been playing the Math game a lot, and he's currently in the playroom with his Autism therapist and they are playing the board game.
 Gabriel and his adorable horse. To the left is Daddy, to the right is my sister Sarah and her fiance, Nick.
 Looking at all his animals.
 The end table was Dan's Christmas gift from my parents. My dad does woodworking and has made most of the things, big and small, for their home. It was neat how he made the top a checker board.
 Our goodies from my parent's house.
 Time for our gifts! Gabriel was pretty tired, but he perked up fairly quick.
 Super excited to get the Perfection game! His therapist had brought it a couple times, and he loves it.
 A Toy Story 3 toy from our friend Heather.
 Gabriel got a stuffed horse, and a set of 9 smaller horses.
 He was trying to figure out how to carry them all at once.
 Playing Perfection together. So nice to see them cooperating better. Especially Dawson, he has worked so hard all summer on sharing and playing with others. He has hugely improved in that area!!
 Gabriel's gifts, both from my parents and us. See a theme?  Right now he is playing with Dawson's Toy Story playset. Of course. Though he is playing it with many animals. Apparently they can drive and operate machinery. :)
 Dawson at my Grandma's house. He did really well for having 18 other people in the house. Big crowds give him anxiety, and it was nice to see the hard work paying off. Instead of tantruming and yelling, he retreated to the quiet of her bedroom/bathroom, where there was a sliding closet and he played elevators. He did have a couple encounters with another toddler, but he stepped back instead of shoving. Not only that, but he sat on my lap and talked about it afterward! He has also been using the word "me", which is fairly new. He usually just talks in 3rd person, referring to himself as Dawson. Now just trying to get him to say "I" as well. It's coming, sometimes he uses the words out of context, but he knows he should be using them and is trying hard to get it right.
This holiday season has been a bit rough, just thinking of how things would've been with Tyler here with us. I had little motivation to start with, but as we got going and around people, it wasn't quite as bad. Just some moments here and there. I went to a grieving parents group in Sauk Rapids. They meet every 3rd Thursday at 6:30pm if anyone is interested. It went well, I got to meet some new people and talk about things that normal people don't understand. It was really nice. One thing that popped into my head the other day is the New Year. It was really hard moving into 2012. I didn't figure I'd have issues with other New Years. But now, after this New Year, I won't be able to tell people "last year". Just one of those sad realizations.

I am looking forward to some new things in January. They are starting on another community/social goal for Dawson, so we get to go do some fun things, like the library and other places involving children. Some days we'll invite kids over here, which isn't as easy as it used to be now that our friend has moved, but hopefully we'll find some people.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and has a Happy New Year!

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