Thursday, January 26, 2017

Alex loses his first tooth!

Tuesday night Alex lost his first tooth!! It was barely hanging on, so I pulled it out after dinner. We were all so excited for him and Evan couldn't wait for the tooth fairy to come and visit Alex. He even snuck into his room before he was awake to check and see what she left him! Here are some happy and exciting shots of him moments after! He is such a goof!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Chrysler Photo Shoot

Back in September, we were given an amazing opportunity. An opportunity to participate and become a part of the Automobility Program with Fiat/Chrysler. They were looking to develop a website and more for people with disabilities that need adaptive equipment to help them get around and be more mobile and independent. A friend of mine called me on a Thursday to tell me that the family they were supposed to be using had backed out of the Photo Shoot and they were looking for a child in a wheelchair between 5-8 years old. She thought of us immediately. At first I wasn't sure because it was the first week of school and I hated to pull the boys out during their first week, but then I thought how great it is to promote disability awareness and why not, this could lead to more opportunities and frankly, this was an opportunity of a lifetime for us. So, we did it. On Tuesday September 13, we headed down to the Michigan Science Center to spend the day "on set". It was long and boring at times. I had to sign all kinds of papers, but my favorite was the modeling contracts I had to sign! Loved it!!! They both did really well and the website is so cool! We are so happy to be a part of such a great program.

Below is the link to the website that went live last month. You will catch a quick glimpse of Evan in the opening video on the main page, then look for a still shot under program overview and then you can view Alex's story under the stories link. You will have to scroll all the way over to the right to find him. There is a video of us as well as lots of awesome pictures. I have also included a few pictures I took that day as well.

Taking a break in the RV

Inside the van getting ready!

Taking a break on the lawn
Practicing before the photo shoot

On Set

Face Painting Time

Troy the Photographer getting the boys set up

Building Blocks!

That's a wrap!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

January Adventures - Part 1

New Year = New Adventures

2017 is going to be full of fun adventures for us as a family. Here's what we have already been up to.

Shrine Circus - January 15
Sunday we went to the Shrine Circus. Evan played on the bounce house, Alex rode a pony, they shared a cotton candy and had some fun with clowns!

The boys with a bunch of the Shriners - including Grandpa Daryl!

Legoland Discovery Center - January 17
Tuesday, the boys had an "Ice Day". Alex had an appointment in the morning, then we went to the mall for some lunch. Because there weren't a lot of people, I decided to surprise them with their Legoland Annual Passes that Eric and I bought them for Christmas. They were not disappointed as you can see!

Evan traded one of his mini-figures for this Knight!

A Step in the Right Direction

It's hard to believe that we are into another new year. 2016 was a good year for us. Lots of progress, good memories made and much to look forward to in 2017.

Alex has been working in a speech program now for ten months. It has been a slow process, but I feel like we are finally working toward a way of communication for him. I feel like he will continue to progress this year with that. He communicates well with us by pointing and is now using Yes/No switches which also seem to be working. I was very adamant on getting this speech off the ground that his physical therapy fell by the wayside. Our Physiatrist stopped doing the Botox injections at the hospital and decided to do them at his office, but our insurance will not cover them. That leads us to finding a new doctor or going through a long process of finding ways to get Botox. He has also been out of PT for a year and it is showing. His muscles are tight and his tone is high, Plus he is a growing boy so this combination has been alarming to us and has made me get him an evaluation to get PT started again. The next step is going to be finding a new Doctor to help with his muscle tone. He is still doing and loving horseback riding. We just started back last week after a holiday break. He says Mama all the time and has his first loose tooth! He understands so much which is good, we just need to get him communicating so he can get those words out that he so desperately wants to!! I am so proud of all of his hard work and strength!

Evan has grown so much. He is a little man with lots of creativity, knowledge and is very inquisitive. He is funny, smart and loud. He loves to learn and is the best brother Alex could ask for. He lost three teeth this year and is on his way to losing two more. He loves telling time and asking about other places in the world. He tried Basketball for the first time as an extracurricular activity in the fall and he starts swimming lessons next week. He loves playing board games, drawing and crafting, building legos and pokemon. He is such a well rounded boy and I am so proud of who he is becoming. It's hard to believe he will be 7 this summer.

Eric is almost done with school. He will have his Bachelor's Degree before Summer. I am so proud of him and his accomplishments. I couldn't do it. He has been going to school now for a few years while working 50+ hours a week, all while providing for us and having a family. I hope he realizes how grateful we are for all of his hard work and dedication. I know it hasn't been easy, but he is on the home stretch now!

As for me, I plan on making some changes to become a better person. I have had a trying year. I feel bogged down and it's time I do better for not only myself but my family. I am not the best person I can be and that needs to change. The guys in my life depend on me a lot and I need to prove to them that I can do this!

So here's to 2017 being a great year full of accomplishments, adventures, memories and a step in the right direction.