Dyer Family Happenings

A.K.A. Mommy needs a place to write!

Stuff, so very much stuff — January 8, 2015

Stuff, so very much stuff

There is always “stuff” isn’t there!?!? The “stuff” happening here is all kind of awesome. At least I think it is.
Leo has been having at home ABA therapy since September- 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. In November he started 3 days a week at the clinic that also houses a preschool, so certain things- like circle time- he was able to be included in with other kiddos, and interacting one on one with kids like him. Starting Monday he is going to be 3 hours a day 5 days a week AT THE CLINIC (to start incorporating him more into the preschool setting and working more on his social behaviors with other munchkins) and 3 hours a day 3 days a week at home! I am so proud of his growth, his words, his working through loud noises and bright lights, his mimicking, his frustration. He has listened and learned and become conditioned to certain things so well that his therapy is progressing pretty quickly. He’s such a smart dude. He just makes my heart so happy.
(In case you aren’t familiar with ABA here’s a link to describe it :http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/treatment/applied-behavior-analysis-aba )

Mr. Max the Great (though he is small), starts his speech therapy next Friday. We are so very fortunate to have the same therapist that started Leo off. She is amazing and I feel like she gets me as a mom and a person. She seems to understand my worries, and for that I am grateful. She is also going to put a referral in to the O.T. (Occupational Therapy) services at his “school” to help with his sensory seeking behaviors. She thinks most of his head hitting, banging, biting are sensory seeking things and can be worked through with some O.T. help. His words are coming slowly and he still chooses to use grunts, yells, and “wassat”s for the majority of his communication, but I know he will pick up more and more words quickly.

Our van became uber unreliable when it just about took a dump on me Monday. So we sold it to someone who knows and has the ability to fix cars. We are very lucky that Joel is able to borrow a truck from work and I take over his car until we are able to purchase a new to us vehicle for me and the boys. I had been praying the van would hold out until our tax refund came in, but alas- I am not in control! (uh, duh!) This is teaching me flexibility, patience and understanding that it will all work out, its just not always when I think it should.

Today our therapy took us on an adventure with our Tutor Jordann. We took her to our favorite place- the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. Our trip lasted two and a half hours (a new record for us) and included visiting “the elephant castle”, petting every animal in the petting zoo, watching otters eat breakfast with their handlers, Leo very proudly stating to Jordann “Welcome to my fafingos” (while standing in front of the flamingo exhibit), touching sting rays, and feeding the giraffes (which he ran screaming from two months ago and totally protested doing 4 days ago). I am so proud of both of the boys for listening, being excited and wanting to learn everything they could today. And Jordann- thank you. For your enthusiasm and love. You’re amazing and I think you’ve found the most perfect career path.

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Feeding the Giraffe! 1/7/2015

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It’s amazing how the gals that come to the house twice a week feel like they have become part of our family. They celebrate every victory- big or small, they are always so excited to dive into whatever we have going on here. They mourn losses with us (we had a dog either run away or be stolen from our house a few weeks ago), they accept challenges like when I somehow think making cookies for Christmas with my two crazy toddlers is a great idea (before we started of course 😉 ) and they listen. They listen to my worries and fears, to my excitement and they remind me when my heart is a little heavy that Leo is doing so very well. I can’t thank these gals enough for being such a huge part of our world, for becoming part of our family.

Joel is working tons of hours, as per usual and always finding new ways to keep the boys entertained outside to give me a little quiet time to putter.

Personally I am embarking on a big new adventure in March. I have been on a fitness journey pretty much my whole life, but last year I kicked it up to another level and Monday I registered to run my very first 5k. I created a team and will be running to raise money for autism research. My sister is going to run with me, and I am so very excited about it! On top of that I am in my 28th week of being part of a virtual fitness challenge and have met so many amazing women. We are all on a journey to being better than we were before the challenge. I am always learning from these ladies, and was voted “MVP” of my Nov-Dec group. That totally took me by surprise. I told Joel I guess I am too hard on myself. I never feel like I’m working hard enough or making big enough strides but I guess I am.
Here’s the link if you’d like to donate to our running team!

https://www.raceforautism.org/Team/View/5074/Super-Leo

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Yogurt, oatmeal, baby carrots..oh my! — November 6, 2014

Yogurt, oatmeal, baby carrots..oh my!

One of the ABA directors told me that once Leo showed interest in touching and sniffing new foods tasting them would be very quickly approaching.

she was so very right

Just this week he has tried 2 types of yogurt, cheerios, baby carrots and oatmeal. By tried I mean I sit right next to him, have to to tell him 500 times to put his hands down and sit up in his chair, have him lick it three times, then convince him spiderman totally eats these things because they make him big and strong.

This season of life is really really pushing the amount of patience God has given me. I have to breathe and breathe and breathe and have a dr. Pepper (no it’s not part of my attempt at a healthy lifestyle but it helps with my migraines and I’m a horrible person when I get them- which is often).

Max is a garbage disposal. This kid even finds food and comes walking through the living room chomping on something. I have had to try to remember when we last ate whatever he is chomping on and where in the world he stashed it because I just cleaned the house and didnt find that anywhere.

As I type he is showing me crayons and attempting to color his face. Leo decorated random things in the house the other day with a green crayon. That was fun.

The time change can suck it. These kids think its awesome to sit on my head and fart at 4:30am.

Max has now removed half of his diaper.

I think it’s time for bed, I know it’s only 3:52pm.

We made it through Halloween! — November 1, 2014

We made it through Halloween!

I know, I know- it’s fun, it’s full of smiles and spookies and friends and treats. Well it was this year! (so happy about that). The past couple of years have been struggling to keep costumes on, wanting to go into peoples houses and me running after Leo while trying to make his way through  (thank goodness it was just two of our neighbors that adore him). But this year it was different, this year he is 3 and excited and talking and understanding when I tell him that we aren’t going to walk into peoples houses- even though he did ask before ringing doorbells.

We made it to 4 houses on our block this year- past years have been 2. He helped me hand candy out to all of the kids that came to our door with an excited “HAPPY HALLOWEEN- TRICK-OR-TREAT-HI FRIENDS” every time. And then, he met “Spiderman” and was totally mesmerized. He grabbed candy from our bucket, looked up and there he was- in all of his about 10 year old Spiderman glory. Leo’s eyes got big, he stopped dead in his tracks and with an adoring voice said “Hi Spiderman, wow”. As  Spiderman was walking away he proclaimed “Momma- look its Spiderman, Spiderman Momma!” It cracked me up, as well as Spidermans mom.

He got to be around kids and teachers in costumes at morning ABA, and did great. This has totally jazzed me to what this holiday season is going to be for him. Exploring, learning, wanting to see new things and be part of things that he was totally unsure of last year. We started talking about Thanksgiving, and I am hoping it will be a jump off point to tasting new foods. I think we are going to make some fun crafts for our house and Oma and Papas and Great Grammas.

Max, just wants to be like brother. He’s picked up a few new words. He doesn’t seem to use them many times over but a few are coming none the less. So I’m excited for this Holiday season. And that I totally made Leos costume. (He told me 3 days before Halloween his didn’t want to be a hot dog, he wanted to be a Bat. Not Batman, a bat “with the spooky hands and the fly momma, the fly”

So a Bat he was.

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