Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Worlds Toughest Job Interview

Have y'all seen this U tube video that has been circulating? 

I know there are some who are nit-picking it apart in the name of "dads do just as much as moms," and while I in no way am denying a fathers involvement in child rearing (goodness, of all people I have been blessed with a husband who gives 100% everyday to our two kids, even after a long, grueling day in corporate America), I do think this video gives honor to the day in and day out dedication that moms everywhere give their littles. And I think the Ad is pretty clever if I do say so myself. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Camille 3 months

Happy 3 months, Camille!
April 14, 2014
Smiling, cooing, snuggling, being swaddled, and just being cute. She is also learning to love bath time. :)

Does not love:
When she is hungry and not being fed fast enough (can't blame her on this one)
When she has a dirty diaper & is not being changed fast enough (again, can't blame her on this one)

She eats about every 3.5 hours.

Sleeping like a champ. A usual night is 9pm-7am with one wake up to eat between the hours of 2-4am. Every once in a while she will eat twice at night. She takes about 4 naps per day on average.

Lots of social smiling (the girl is a major flirt), lots of cooing and vocalizations, batting at objects with her hands and legs, neck and head control is getting much stronger, and she can grasp a few objects in her hands (if not too heavy).

No real schedule just yet. We do follow the eat-play-sleep routine, and only keep her awake for about 90 minutes at a time to prevent over tiredness, and both are working very well.

Camille got to meet my Aunt (my dad's sister) & Grandpa (my dad's dad) for the first time this past weekend. The introduction was long overdue, and we were so glad to finally get to spend quality  time with them.

Can't believe three months has come and gone! Love her so much! 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Weekend Links 4/11/14

100 ways to know you're a mom - Lisa Jo Baker
Three Little Words - Lois Flowers via (in)courage
My family stopped eating sugar for a year  - Eve O. Schaub via Everyday Health (What does it say about me that I cannot fathom doing this?!? Maybe don't answer that. I type this as I sip on my sugar filled coffee by way of loads of processed flavored creamer.)

Eating Disorder/Mental Illness/Self Esteem
You are PreApproved - Jennifer Dukes Lee via (in)courage
Self Sabotage- it's a reality - Surviving Anorexia

Special Needs
What's new in Autism Spectrum Disorder? Research Update - Sensory Spectrum
What Sensory Overload might be like for your child (a video) - Sensory Spectrum - This video cartoon paints a great picture of what the world is like for a child/person that is easily overwhelmed by noise and various sensory input. (Ex: This is exactly why Clara gets completely overwhelmed in large crowds, at birthday parties, etc)

Clara's first school pictures. . . Spring 2014. . . A tad on the serious side, but hey, at least there were no tears involved! :) Love this kid! Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dealing with delays. . . Part 2

This post is a continuation from the original Dealing with delays. 

Clara took a little tumble this week, and it really shook her up. See, she has learned how to climb on and off the couch, and can now do so within a matter of a few seconds. It's pretty cute, and she gets so super excited when she gets up. Think huge smile, lots of giggles, and bouncing up and down on her bottom. Sure enough, I turned my back for just a second to tend to little sister, and then heard crying.

Hard, hard crying.

She had fallen off the couch.

Mommy fail.

I ran over to her, scooped her up and started gently talking to her, and specifically asking her "Where does it hurt?"

She just kept crying. And she wasn't calming down.

I started gently touching different parts of her body to see if doing so would strengthen the sound of her cry, thus letting me know where she was hurting. No luck. Just more tears. And eventually when the heavy tears lessened, they were replaced with heavy whimpers. Whimpers that lasted for a good, long while.

She might have just been shook up from the whole situation. Falling off the couch is a scary thing indeed. Yet, in that moment, I couldn't help but sit there and cry a little on the inside.

If only she could tell me what hurt.

If only she could say "My arm mommy," or "My head mommy," or something to that effect. Even a simple "It hurts," or "Scared," would make moments like this so much easier. Because I would know that pain or being frightened is the reason behind the tears.

Calming a nonverbal child is hard.

Nonverbal is general is HARD.

So I have started praying bold, specific prayers for my girl.

More than just the basic "Lord, please keep Clara developing well and hitting her milestones." 

No. My prayers have become very specific. And I think God calls us to be bold, and specific at times when we present to Him our requests. Because that just shows Him where we are putting our trust, right?

So now each and every day I pray four things over my biggest girl.

That she will learn to walk, talk, read, and be potty trained. 

These are my four. 


So what if I sound repetitive? God doesn't care. He just tells me to ask, and to trust. 

I have been connected with other Cohens parents via a FB support group and sadly, many Cohens kids are not able to do any of these things, especially read (and/or write for that matter. . . ex: many Cohens kids that are in their 20's function at a preschool - 2nd grade level), and I have been told that many kids have a MUCH harder time with potty training and that it usually doesn't come until much later, as in age 5-8 years. 

She is taking steps. Praise be to God. Seriously. Each and every time I see her take a step I say "Thank you, God." Just take a look at this video from yesterday. . .

But our prayers continue. 

Delays are hard. 

Nonverbal is hard. 

But regardless of the hard we know we trust a God that is strong, faithful, and can help overcome any hard, milestone met or not.

Philippians 4:6 NLT
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. 
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done."

Monday, April 7, 2014

Daddy-daughter weekend

I was out of town this past weekend speaking at a middle and high school girls church youth group retreat. I so enjoyed spending time with these girls, and sharing a little of my heart and story with them. The theme was "Radiant," and we spent a lot of time discussing how to foster a positive self image, despite living in a society that seems to place less and less value on true, inner, God-given natural beauty.

It. was. awesome.

Brandon, being the amazing husband that he is, offered to keep both girls at home all weekend so that I could have an entire weekend away. Did you read that? An entire weekend away. Like Friday afternoon - Sunday afternoon. Free of any regular mommy/child rearing responsibilities. No diaper changing. No spit up cleaning. No endless piles of laundry. No reheating my dinner 5,467 times.

Bless him.

I returned home yesterday to find these adorable pics on the camera. Looks like they had a full on photo session while I was away. A photo session totaling 273 photos. Love it.

Here are just a few of my favs. . .




Reunited with my biggest girl. . .

It was so nice to get away for a few days, but was even nicer coming home.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Weekend Links 4/4/14

Good in the trenches - Enjoying The Small Things
When guilt pulls you down - Angela Nazworth via (in)courage
Friendship: A Piece of Cake - Ann Swindell via (in)courage
Because Mothers Don't Want It To Be Over. Even The Hard Stuff - Lisa Jo Baker
Why I argue in front of my kids (sometimes) - Shaun Groves via The Art of Simple

Eating Disorder/Mental Illness/Self Esteem
Denial of our past - Surviving Anorexia
Postpartum Depression & The Casserole Famine - Katherine Stone via Life Rearranged

Special Needs
Study Indicates Autism Begins During Pregnancy - The Sensory Spectrum
Life in a special needs world - Parents Magazine

The statements below are taken directly from the Parents Magazine article. . . Such truth.
I (and Brandon) feel all of these emotions from time to time. . .

This is what mothers of children who have special needs want other moms to know:

  • I may look tough, but know that I'm as fragile as my child. I just don't have the option to show it.
  • Please don't tell me to just relax. There is always something to be done: doctor appointments, therapy appointments, insurance people to talk to, papers to be filled out, extra encouragement and praise and attention to be given. It's exhausting.
  • We often can't do activities other people with kids the same age do, [but] I still relish the adult friendships [with moms whose kids don't have special needs].
  • Be more sensitive when bragging about [your] typically developing kids. Even though we are blessed and thankful for our kiddos, [we also] feel sadness for not being able to experience certain things that other people might take for granted.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone! Make it great!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Clara 23 months

Look who turned 23 months old. . . 
April 2, 2014

Not much has changed since the last monthly update except that . . .


You might remember she took her first few steps a few weeks ago, and since then she has added on a few more. Today her therapist proclaimed she imagines Clara will be full out walking by her 2nd birthday!! You know I will post a video when that happens. And we will be partying it up over here. . . Because meeting milestones is cause for a full on celebration in this house! :)

We love you, Clara, and are so thankful you are our daughter. You bring us so much joy, every single day. You are developing such a fun-loving personality! It is so amazing to watch you grow and make progress in your development. Praise God for you, little one!
Xoxo, Mommy and Daddy
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