My Family

My Family

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Bama Bound

Well, I guess our time here in California is up! Honestly, when we moved here I didn't think I would last a full year. I cried and cried to Clay about dragging me away from my beautiful home, friends and family. Now, I will be crying in a few days from dragging me away from California and my wonderful friends.   I never would have thought with only 5 short years this could feel so much like home.

We have had such a wonderful adventure! We have visited so many places we would have never seen and met wonderful people we would have never known. And I do feel blessed.  But, now we have so much to look forward to. We have a wonderful home in Alabama and wonderful friends there (whom I am so excited to see).

Good quote about change:

"Change is Hard at first, Messy in the Middle and Gorgeous at the end."  Robin Sharma

So, thank you California for the wonderful memories and Look out Bama because here we come!!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Autism and Traveling OH MY

Our family is taking in California as much as we can..there is so much to see and do. We don't know how long we will live here, so lately we have been adding in extra trips to make sure we see it ALL! :)  The kids LOVE to travel too, so that helps.

The hardest part are the transitions, which I just don't have the answer to yet, for helping Cohen. The night before we left for our Yosemite trip Cohen was starting to ramble about how he was going to miss his house. He actually stretched his arms out and kissed the wall. He isn't joking he misses the actual HOUSE! :)   So, he was getting anxious about leaving but it was fine, we talk a lot before we leave about how many nights we will be gone, who is watching our dogs and that our things will be here when we get back. But, as always Cohen fell in Love with the "new house" which was actually a small cottage near Yosemite. He decided he loved that house and didn't want to leave. UGH! We can't win, but this is normal we expect it to happen. But, what we know is that we will hear the same sentences the entire way home! This time it was I don't want my old home, I want my new home. Then he decided he wanted to go to the lake house tomorrow on another trip, as long as he didn't go back to his Old house, he would be happy.

We don't understand how his mind works, why he goes there but he does. So, we get home and there was a LOT of screaming until he calmed himself down. He has to be by himself to self calm. Then he went down stairs and started doing his art. He drew his family at the Lake house, himself wakeboarding with his Daddy, and builders fixing our old house, so we could move to the lake house.  Art seems to help him express his feelings, when he can't find the words.

This is just a little glimpse of our lives with Cohen. He is such a joy and we Love him so very much..but it is also very difficult to be the best parent when you just don't understand your child the way you wish you could!   I don't believe in cures for Autism, I believe my baby was born with it and we are learning to parent him the best we can and understand his World!!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Another Cohen update...

I know a lot of my posts are about Cohen, but it's hard not to update the amazing progress I am seeing daily with him.   Cohen was diagnosed at age 3 with Autism and he was considered non verbal because none of his words were actually full on words, they were hummed or not full words..but I actually understood a lot of it. ( Mommy's get it) :)  And skip forward now to Age 5 and my little boy is talking non stop, communicating amazingly with us and others. A lot of his sentences are still from commercials or something he has heard, but he fits it into conversation nicely! :)

But...what I am most excited about is that my Cohen is registered for K-5 next year and will be mainstreamed into the regular classroom. This is one of the main reasons we held him back last year,  so that he would be ready.  I am so very very proud of him.  We will have a lot of work to do I am sure, but I know he can do it!!

And...I have to say that Cohen would not be where he is today without the TEAM of wonderful people that have helped him, and still are.  His progress is not about 1 variable it's about them all.  Yes, we changed his diet and have worked hard with that and have read and worked hard with him, but my Gosh we would be Lost without his ABA therapy, occupational therapy,  preschool teachers, and family and friends.   So, today I just feel thankful at where we are.  Cohen still has Autism, but we are all learning to deal with it, and push through it.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Beach Day in January

We have had some lovely 70 something days lately, so we decided to take full advantage and go to Santa Cruz yesterday!  We have only been one time, but never hit all the popular spots so we decided to do that!  First we went to the Wharf for lunch, which was really nice, but we had to walk past a roller roaster and other rides and an arcade, so there was no way the kids would let us leave without playing a little there. After a really nice lunch with a beautiful view of the ocean we walked back to the hectic craziness rides area, which is totally not my thing!  Clay found out that Cohen was not tall enough to do the roller coaster, and if you know Cohen you know he LOVES LOVES to ride roller coasters, they have a track and they are the closes thing to a train, and he loves that rush!  He had a minor breakdown, but he actually calmed himself down, (which he has worked hard on the past 2 years).  He stopped after and told himself to "Just Breathe." He took a deep breath and we kept going. So cool to see. The kids did a ride and then we got the heck out of there and went to a different beach!

Clay took us to a beach he had heard of that has natural bridges! Absolutely beautiful!  We also hit it right for the low tide there and were able to see some sea urchins and other little things. The kids really enjoyed exploring on the rocks.  Once again, that beach was super crowded and I like the area to be peaceful and relaxing. So, it was a great experience, but not going to be our new spot. Back to Monterey and Carmel we will go!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Autism A Blessing?

I look at Cohen every day in complete an utter amazement. I am so overwhelmed everyday with him. When I say overwhelmed I don't mean with work I mean the love I feel when I look at him.  The first half of Cohen's life I felt overwhelmed, seriously overwhelmed like how am I going to do this??? Why me? Why did God give me a special needs child?  I am not the most patient person and I never thought I had the gift of taking care of a child like him.  We (Clay and I) struggled and we still do with knowing how to parent him properly, but we just do our best and take it day by day.

Cohen is teaching me probably more than I am teaching him. I am learning to have more patience for sure and to have more compassion for others.  Cohen loves with all of his heart..all of the time! Wow,  how can that not be a gift?

I watch my big 5 year old boy progress daily in his talking, (actually sometimes I can't make him stop), his art work,  riding a bike (which we didn't know he would ever do), and even starting to throw a ball a little. (I don't think he will be an athlete :))  Cohen knows all of his numbers and letters and is learning site words at school.

Just over a year ago I was wondering if we would ever know how how he felt, what he needed, if he would have any friends, have any passions (other than Thomas).  I know I am lucky, I know that I am blessed, some parents aren't ever able to know the thoughts of their children or how their child feels. I get that, I am getting more than that. I am Blessed.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Celebrating Cooper

Cooper has been working so hard in school this year!  He has had some struggles with his spelling.  We have been trying to build his confidence and then I think better grades will come! So...his reward for an A was to go to Chuckee Cheese!  Just before the Christmas break he got 2 A's on his spelling test! We are so proud of him and took him out to celebrate!

We went to our favorite breakfast place, Black Bear Diner and then went to Chuckee Cheese to play! The kids had a ball and Cooper new this adventure was all to celebrate him!!

Saturday, January 3, 2015


We just celebrated our 3rd California Christmas!  We have created quite a few new traditions here that we all enjoy. Being that we don't have family here, Clay and I have tried to find other things to do to make lots of family memories!

We go to the Christmas tree farm and cut down our tree, which is always fun!   We did a little bit of baking together, went to visit the white reindeer at Mount Madonna and this year we were able to go to the Christmas Eve service at Church.   The past few years we haven't gone because we always have to leave around 10 minutes in,  the kids just can't keep quiet.  This year we made it, almost the entire time. Clay had to walk out with Cohen because towards the end of service Cohen says Really loudly 3,2,1 and then says My Mom makes really good hot chocolate.  We tried and the kids new what Christmas was all about, which was the important part.

And of course..we made reindeer food and left out Cookies and milk for Santa!

Christmas morning, Cohen was sick but we were still able to enjoy opening presents together and had a wonderful day!  Hoping soon to be able to celebrate with our Alabama and Georgia family!