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 đŸ˜‰ ) 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

Sleep, spiderman, veggies and referrals. AKA life — December 4, 2014

Sleep, spiderman, veggies and referrals. AKA life

Life has been busy. I thought having 5 days off of all therapy and being able to “fly by the seat of our pants” would be awesome. Then my thoughts came crashing down realizing I have an austic child that needs a schedule to function. So our Thanksgiving weekend was a little rough but we made it.

Spiderman (also known as my mom) has been called a few times to convince Leo veggies are good to eat and that they make Spiderman big and strong. This morning was a flip situation that had me holding in a laugh so very hard. Scrambled eggs have been another “please just eat it” food. This morning he scooped up a giant fork full, put it in his mouth, chewed it up looked at me and said (very proudly I might add)

“Momma, call Spiderman” so we did. It was awesome.

Our next goal is to get him to try new foods without gagging himself as they go into his mouth.

Last night everyone slept in their appropriate beds. This hasn’t happened in months. No one woke up in the middle of the night, no cries, nothing. It was fantastic. I don’t want to get excited but here’s hoping and praying for another sleep night like that.

As excited as the boys were for Halloween, the Christmas excitement isoff the charts here. Including Leo explaining to everyone that Santa comes on Christmas, which is Jesus’ birthday and that Spiderman will be making an apperance at his birthday party as well.

In between all of this I am trying to continue my quest of strength training and losing more weight while giving myself shin splints. My beloved and totally evil (God I love her) Physical Therapist basically threatened to remove my legs if I don’t let them heal. gah. So the bike it is.

Now we are waiting for more fun seasonal things, cookie making, kuga making, Christmas Tree Lane and referrals to specialists for both boys. Tummy issues, possible seizures for Leo and making sure Max can hear because he too will be starting speech therapy soon.

So heres to life. And embarking on a season to love a little more and a little harder, and to celebrate Jesus, family and love.

If I could give advice to mommys-to-be… — November 19, 2014

If I could give advice to mommys-to-be…

I’d say to follow your heart and your mind. They know you better than anyone, any book, any class, anything you can read online. There are things I joke about- but I’m kinda serious (lol) about having a brand new baby, but we all fall into a rhythm, find our stride, fall flat on our face and pick right back up because that’s what we do.

I have to follow my heart more often than not with the boys. All of the charts that tell me how big they are suppose to be were thrown out the window they were born- at 9lb 7oz and 8lb 12oz respectively. The charts that tell me what milestones they should be hitting based on age I had to throw out when they reached certain ones super early and still haven’t met others. But my heart has always known if we were “on track” or not.

With that being said, we are headed back to the Regional Center today, but for Max. I’m pulled in two different directions about this. I know he’s having speech problems- again a child of ours can’t mother freaking talk, but boy oh boy can Joel and I. There are other concerns we are having with him that lead to a talk with our Pediatrician and scheduling with the center. If he needs help and they can start it now, it will be wonderful because I know he will progress so fast. We have very very smart boys. But if he does need help, we have another child that is going to take extra time and patience and I am afraid of how I am going to handle all of this.

I do not believe “God never gives us more than we can handle”, I believe he gives us opportunities to ask him for help, for grace, for love and for the chance to learn. And that  there are totally days where we can’t handle it and those are the days we have to pray and make choices and ask for help- and I know that is one thing I totally need to do more of.

I texted Joel this morning and said if we can make it through this season of life alive, still talking and in one piece I think we will be okay forever. Having two toddlers- to my amazing friend with triplet 2 year olds- you are amazing, and I know you are just living life and walking in the path God placed you but woman I applaud the grace you have with even the toughest days- is hard. Having two toddlers that need extra help with communication is enough to make you want to run away at times.

So to all of my beautiful girlfriends that are in all stages of mommydom, know that your heart is your best guide, but that other mommies are always here with hugs, coffee, shoulders to cry on, high fives, happy dances and listening ears. Know that you are loved, even in your worst moments, that you are so much more than you think you are on a daily basis and that you are doing the best for your family.