Well..since Cohen was diagnosed with Autism not so long ago we have had a lot going on in regards to getting help. So much paper work and testing is involved in everything we do but the Help is beginning to arrive and we are thrilled. I have actually seen a lot of progress with Cohen already. For one we (Clay and I) are seeing things differently and learning how to parent Cohen with different expectations.
We got Cohen and I-pad because we learned how great they are for Autistic kids for educational purposes. I didn't think it would hurt to give it a try. Before we bought the ipad Cohen would not use his hands to push buttons, he would just take our hands to do things he wanted done. Now, he takes the ipad turns it on, goes to the ap he wants and plays the games, listens to books, or watches Netflix. I am amazed at how much progress he has made with just that. There is one Ap that is called Emoticons and it helps Cohen express how he is feeling..such I am Happy, I am Sad, I am Angry..and many more. Cohen was sitting at the table the other day and said, "I am Happy." What? ...That is the ONLY time he has ever expressed himself, it felt so good to hear that. There are more examples, but that is my favorite.
Also, Cohen is now in speech therapy one day a week, he LOVES it. They are not only helping Cohen they are helping ME. I am learning new strategies in helping Cohen with speech and transitions. We are about to start occupational therapy, which I think will also be one day a week. We are working on the paper work and Cohen will begin a preschool her in Gilroy! We are thrilled with all the love and support we are getting for him! Thank you all, friends and family, for loving us and our Cohen and for your continued prayers.
We recently celebrated Cenley's 2nd birthday! I really wanted to make it Super Special for her but also low key and just our little family. Something about family being together and celebrating each other, I just LOVE it! :)
We decided to go to Build a Bear for Cenley's big day. The boys had done a bear before but Cenley had not. So the boys brought their bears and were going to get a new outfit for them, and Cenley got to pick a bear and get an outfit. They all had a Blast! Cenley got a tie die bear and to Clay's dismay not a princess dress but a John Deere T-shirt! :) Cohen didn't want an outfit for his bear, but it did have a bath and he did choose a new puppy. Cooper of course came home with a clean, stitched up brown bear with a Spiderman Costume.
We went home and had a Princess Party...of course. Cake and ice cream and presents. So much fun!! She felt really special and we wore her out enough to throw a 2 year old tantrum to top it off!
One of our "Go to" places for our family is Gilroy Gardens. Gilroy is actually where our new house is going to be as well. Eventually, I will get to the post on that. Anyway...we have Season passes there and we thought it would be a great place to take Mom and let the kids have a good time.
The kids (especially Cohen ) love all the rides there, so we did as many as we could. Cohen did extra with his Daddy because he likes the scary ones that Cooper will not do :). They had a really cool petting zoo that Mom got the kids tickets too. I think that was the best part of the trip. Cenely chased chickens the Entire time, Cohen hung on a a fence watching the ducks, and Cooper carried around a chicken while checking everything out. Very neat!!
Mom came for a visit for 2 weeks this past month. We all really enjoyed the visit and I think wore her out really well. We weren't able to really make any big trips this time because we had quite a few Doctor's appointments and school meetings.
We did make several trips to parks and also to Gilroy Gardens.
Thanks Gammy for a fun visit and all the HELP! :)
Well, just because we live in California doesn't mean we don't still support Alabama football! Well, I do at least. We all wore our Bama attire out to the park this past weekend, on Game day. Tried to get some pictures of our crew together, got a few cute shots. :)
The park we took the pictures is really close to our new house, by the way!
Well, it has begun..the days of Elementary have started. Cooper started school about 2 weeks ago. He is really enjoying it. It's a new thing for Cooper to have to sit still for longer periods of time, but he is learning :). He loves his new teacher, Mrs. Randazzo. She seems like a wonderful teacher, very well organized and keeps the kids in line.
Cooper comes home singing his rules and new songs he has learned. Makes me happy to see him enjoying it so much!
If you know me well, then you have met our 3 kids. I haven't met anyone that hasn't instantly fallen in love with Cohen. He has this way of stealing hearts, well he for sure has ours.
We love our Cohen so much, but have struggled for a while with how to deal with him. Not that he is bad, he is just difficult. Cohen doesn't talk much, other than repeating things and it really frustrates him that he can't communicate with us, and really not understand.
Our Pediatrician was concerned and sent us to a Clinical Psychologist. After much paper work and a long day of tests they have diagnosed Cohen with Autism. I think we sort of knew that is what they would say, and I have to tell you it doesn't make me sad. I am just so EXCITED to get help! We need it and I feel this is really going to help him grow into the little boy he was meant to be. A whole lot is going on in his little world and we just want to be invited in!
So, for all of our close famiy and friends that know our struggles thank you for your prayers and concern. And for those that don't know we ask for your prayers and understanding with our precious boy!
Well..once again this post is late coming, but finally trying to catch up. I can't believe we just celebrated Cooper's 5th birthday. Sometimes it feels like we have had him a LONG time :) and other times it feels like yesterday we were bringing home our baby boy from the hospital. Time goes so fast, being Clay and I really are trying to enjoy every moment with our children!! There are many sacrifices, but it is so worth it.
So...on to the party part! Cooper had his 1st Real birthday party. He has had small things at our house but this our first real Event. We chose to have it at a gymnastics place, thought indoors would be ideal. Not that there is a concern for rain here! :)
Cooper wanted a Super Mario party and that's what he got. It was a blast and we enjoyed having some of our new friends come and celebrate with us!
So, for Cohen's birthday we planned a family trip to the zoo! We found a new
nice zoo here near us! We had such a wonderful time together. All of the kids really enjoyed the animals. I was happy to see Cohen and Cenley both really paying attention to all of the animals. By far Cohen enjoyed the chimpanzees the most. He loves Monkeys. They put on a major show for us too. There was a little place the kids could put their feet in the water and of course Cohen met a new friend. (always an adult) He cuddled with her for a good 5 minutes, I really don't know what to do with him. Luckily she was a Grandma and enjoyed it.
After the zoo we picked up a pizza and went home to Party. Pizza, cake and opening presents was the closing and it went over great. Cohen loved having this day being all about HIM, we need to give him more days like this.
Cooper Ashton has officially graduated preschool. What a huge milestone, finishing preschool and going to Elementary school next year. HUGE! I am so excited for him but nervous at the same time. It will be nice that his new school is one block away and we can walk there. The hours are 8:30-1:30 so it won't even be a full day! But, still big and exciting.
Graduation was short and sweet! The kids walked out one by one and stood with their teachers to get a diplomat. They posed for a picture and then walked down the aisle. Cute, they all did great. We let Cooper choose where we went for dinner and of course he chose Mexican. So, after graduation Clay gave him his balloon and treats and we went for his Celebration meal. We were all so Proud of our Cooper!
Cohen is 3. It really is hard to believe Cohen is already 3. I say that mainly because he just seems like my little baby still. Three was my favorite age with Cooper and I have a feeling it will be with Cohen as well. Seems like in they year between 3 and 4 they just grow into little boys so fast! But, oh the fun in watching them grow.
Cohen is such a sweetie pie..our little Love Bug, I tell you he is going to melt some girls hearts! Instead of just walking Cohen has decided he likes to jump everywhere he goes. I think it's great because he is not the most active little boy, love to watch him jump and he has also decided he likes to play a little ball. :)
Cohen had his 3 year check up today. Doctor wants me to work on his weight but other than that he is a Healthy boy! She is also working on getting us some help for his vocabulary! :)
I will do another post about PARTY Day!
So, did I forget to mention that we also brought home a new baby from Mobile? Yes, we adopted a beautiful bouncing black Lab named Jet. I saw Jet on facebook, he was going to be put down if not adopted. Broke my heart to saw the picture of this beautiful baby that just needed a home. So, the adoption people found a shelter for him for a month until we made our trip to Mobile. When we went to pick Jet up I was in a little bit of shock. He was a LOT bigger than I expected :). They said 50 lbs so I thought ok Mobie's size. Well, I learned he had been malnourished and was really skinny, but also tall! Long legs. Jet is full of puppy energy so we are having to make major adjustments around here, but he is very Loved. Jet loves to go on long walks with Clay. Clay has found a wonderful spot he can let Jet run and he absolutely loves it.
So, we flew out of B-ham and we were able to stay the night there and spend the day Nana and Grandpa. We had a picnic lunch at the park, played there and ice cream later. We really enjoyed our time with them it just seemed to go so fast!!
Love you Nana and Grandpa! :)
Of course we hit a lot of our favorite restaurants while home. 1st on the list is always Original Oyster house, and Cooper even got to see a big alligator! Gammy took Cooper to the Party Castle twice :). While I was visiting with Grandma she had to keep him busy :). And we went on his first bowling trip. Clay doesn't like to touch the "dirty" ball so I was happy to get to go as well! Sure wish we could have stayed longer, but we really enjoyed our visit!