Monday, September 26, 2011

School Boy!

So Dakota started his first day of preschool and has already gone for 2 weeks (which is 4 times...he goes 2 days a week for 2.5 hours). I was so nervous about how he would do. He is always a little fussy away from home and in environments that are overwhelming and a room full of kids is pretty overwhelming. The teacher wanted me to go with him the first couple of days so that they could get the hang of things and it was good for me to get some peace of mind. He did SO surprisingly well I couldn't believe it. He was so interested in watching the kids and he only got sad a few times the whole day. The second day I kind of backed off a little and let the nurse (he has a nurse with him at all times) and the teacher do their thing and when he couldn't see me he did so good. If he saw me he gave me his little pouty mom I want you!

In front of the school with the nurse. His 2 nurses that will go to school with him are both amazing which brings me even more comfort. They are so sweet with him and are so involved with the class and make sure he is participating with it all. Love em!

I made him take a picture with his mom of course. Too bad my camera was being all weird and they are crappy pics. Oh well!

This is how he was as soon as we walked in. Just staring at the kids.

Sitting in his corner chair that really makes him work his head and trunk control. The nurse is helping him hold his sticks to play with the kids.

Playing his music

He LOVED reading the book with the small group

His cute little picture on the bulletin board outside of his class.

The best part about going to school is that the kids in his class, especially the girls are so sweet and accepting of him. He is by far the most severe in his class. The rest of the kids, you would never know what kind of disability they have, if any. I think most are speech. But they just love him, accept him, play with him, and include him in what they are doing. The scriptures always talk about being like little children and they were the perfect example of why. If only all of us adults could be like them and not judge, criticize, or find fault in others and just love and accept everyone and anyone as they are...we would definitely be more like our Savior. I am so grateful for the example these little 3-5 year olds were to me and I hope that I can be more like them!

The second week I was a little nervous again...wondering if he would do as well, but the nurse said he did great both days. Made a sad face a couple of times but that was it. They even got him smiling and it was so fun to hear his teacher say she got to see him smile for the first time!

He is still doing great and we are seeing more and more of our Dakota shine through. One of the coolest things that happened last week was at swallow therapy. They always give him 2 choices of tastes (which he LOVES)  and make him choose. Normally he chooses with his eyes which he has pretty much mastered. If we ask him to look at the one he wants he will do it and I think he enjoys making choices for himself. Well, last week at therapy he was not only looking at what he wanted but started to move his arm and hand toward the one he wanted. He did this 3 times and on one he was even kind of pointing with his pointer finger. His therapist was SO excited so of course I was so excited too. Sometimes because I don't have the expertise the therapists have I don't think I notice these little things that are so huge, so it is good to have them point them out to me. They would ask him questions like, "do you want more?" and he would make a sound after they asked him. They said that is really good too because he is trying to verbalize a response to you. So basically we are still seeing exciting new things and of course we couldn't be more happy!

He has been really moving his arms around more and more...still not totally controlled but is trying. He is babbling a lot more and gaining more strength in his head and body. He is still sleeping great which has changed our lives for the better. I still have to get up a few times a night to give him meds, turn on oxygen when he goes down or suction but that is nothing compared to where we have been.

He is overall more happy and content these days. We had 2 family birthday parties one Sunday night and I thought before we left...this is not going to go well at all. He was like a whole other kid there. He let anyone and everyone hold him and was content through it all. I was literally shocked!

Papa Ed's Birthday (We didn't get any at Grandpa Bert's :( )

Talking with Grammy and cousin Houston

Daddy playing with Houston

Just chillin being his cute self

Wishing the birthday boy a Happy Birthday. 2 CUTIES!

Lovin on Aunt Becky

Snuggling with Grandma
Reading a book with Poppy and Grandma and Grandpa Rhees

Zach's fam with Papa Ed (minus Jenny's cute fam)

Fam with Grandma Nannie

We even got brave and took him out with us to a restaurant for the first time and he just chilled in his stroller and enjoyed me giving him a few tastes of the food. It was so fun to be together somewhere in public as a family again.

He has also decided that not just one of his favorite blankets is enought...he wants his two favorite. I always cover him at night with two blankets (1 to snuggle and 1 to cover). Well, in the morning I take 1 off and let him bring his other one out. Well, the other morning I took the one off like normal and he started to cry. I just thought oh great it's gonna be a fussy day but then thought for a minute and asked, "do you want this one too?" He immediately quite crying and gave a tiny grin when I gave it back to him and was totally fine after that. Now when we ask him if he wants two he just gives you his cute grin and likes one on each side of his cute little face. He doesn't have to all the time...only if he sees both of them.
This particular night I put him down like usual and he started fussing which he hasn't done since we started this new routine. After so long I went in there to check on him and grabbed the blanket covering his body and put it up by his other cheek. That was the golden ticket. He went right to sleep after that.
Such a sweetie!

Poppy could use your help working on their new addition!


  1. How did sweet Dakota get big enough for school?!?! Crazy how time flies, it seems like you were just pregnant with him.

    So much fun that you share things on your blog. I can't believe he is starting to point/move his arms more/and babbling! THAT IS SO EXCITING!

    Keep it up Dakota...Go Buddy Go!

  2. Great school photos!

    Our little guy does the same thing with his soothers. A few months ago he insisted on having 2 with him at night. One in his mouth and one in his hand.

  3. Way to go Dakota!! So glad everyone is so great to him there! What an amazing (and adorable) little guy he is!!! So glad he continues to progress!!

  4. Dakota, you are seriously the CUTEST guy around. We LOVE you SO MUCH-- keep up the good work. You are growing up too quick and I can't believe you're already in school... time flies. We need to come visit and let your girlfriend LOVE on you. It seriously melts my heart to hear her talk about "kota" EVERY SINGLE DAY!! :0 Love you guys-- you're ALL amazing!