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I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas! ...this is as good as our family picture is going to get this year...and sums up daily life for us. crying & Cole being Cole!

Cole was nice this year and didn't pull Santa's beard or glasses off or try to claw his face off. And Baby A met Santa for the first time!
We don't turn on the fire place very much because it sky rockets our gas bill...but on Christmas we do...Cole LOVED it and liked warming up by the fire.

He got a Shape Sorter...aka "therapy toy".  He liked putting the shapes in the box...of course!

This cute little guy snuk the Cheerio container of the counter (the lid was already off) and was balancing it on his knees.

Yup...the look of "oh crap!"...then he spilled the whole container.  It was fun to see him "work" for something he wanted! Yay for Cole.  One step to being self sufficient haha!

...I'm ready for school to start back up!!!  Maybe I'll actually get to shower & leave the house more week to go.



It's been awhile since I've had a vent post so I think it's ok if I do one once a year! So, we FINALLY found a therapy that works for Cole (ABA therapy) and he is in an AMAZING program right now. Since starting it back in July, he has learned to sit in a chair until we say he can get up AND this week he TALKED!!! Yes! TALKED!!!  He said "daadeee, Weese" (daddy, please)...then "thaaaats" (thanks)...and of course "Go Cole" after (cuz he likes to cheer his self on!) ....ya, we pretty much fell out of our seats & shed some tears!!! 

Which brings me to my venting....we finally found something that is actually working for him.  BUT, it's only a Pre-school aged program...and thankfully we haven't had to pay for it.  It's pretty much the only program in our state that does ABA therapy at no cost.  If we do ABA after this program (which ends in June for Cole) we would have to pay out of pocket $700-$2000 a MONTH!  We don't get ANY SORT OF HELP from the gov programs...we actually qualify because of our income, but a lot of our friends who are on that certain program are getting letters in the mail saying they owe them anywhere from $3,000-$30,000 of back payment because they paid them too much...which is weird because most of them have made the same (salary paid amount) since getting into that program.  So, they are making them pay it back & if they can't, they garnish their wages.  It freaked us out enough to decide we wouldn't apply for it...which bothers me because both me & my husband have paid into it since we started working at age 16.  The other program that doesn't go off of income that we were hoping to get on (which only includes ABAtherapy & respirate care) has a 7 year wait list!  I've heard from other families that have been on the wait list for over 10yrs.  I've heard our state was one of the worst to live in if you have a disabled child (as far as funding/programs). Our state is also one of the VERY FEW STATES that don't include ABA on insurance plans...meaning if we moved to 35 other states, his ABA therapy would be covered.  But, even if our insurance did cover it...our deductible is $6,000 anyways (which awesomely includes his prescriptions uhh! we pretty much pay out of pocket for everything unless its catastrophic). Anyways, I've "heard" that Texas is one of the BEST states to live in if you are disabled...not sure if its true but that's what I hear.  I've also heard other states cover food, diapers, therapy, medical equipment, all medical & housing for the disabled (and income doesn't matter).  ...I would hate to have to move away from friends & family because we can't get Cole the help he needs where we are...but I guess if we have to...we have to.  I'm just curious how it is where you live? (If you leave a comment, I won't post it...I'll just read it).  It don't know if those of you with disabled children feel the same way...but I've accepted the fact that we will always struggle financially...because let's face's not cheap to have a disable child...heck, it's not cheap having a "healthy" child!  ...BUT, I'm not ok with Cole suffering & not getting the help he makes me sick & I'm not quite sure what to do.  



I can't believe we FINALLY have another child.  We were both TERRIFIED to have another child, after going through hell and back with was really hard not to (LITERALLY) panic when thinking about having another kid...but I am SO glad we did.  She has healed our hearts in ways nothing else in this world could.  We have a Baby Book that I made of Cole's 1st 18months of life...and my husband could NEVER bring his self to look at it.  It was too hard for him to see pictures of Cole before all Hell broke loose.  To us, that easy going, happy little boy that ALWAYS had a smile on his face & NEVER cried was taken from us over-night.  His WHOLE personality changed and when we see those pictures it makes our hearts break.  The day we got home with the husband asked to see pictures of Cole when he was a baby so he could compare the 2 kids.  That was the *FIRST* time he's EVER looked at that book.  This baby is JUST what we needed in our lives and we adore her!  

(The Delivery Story:)
The delivery went SO good.  I was dialed to a 2.5-3 for weeks and there was no sign of progression.  They offered to induce me a week before her due date...but I declined.  This is my own personal opinion...but I feel like it puts a lot of stress on the baby when getting induce, so I wanted her to come when she was ready.  Obviously if I passed her due date by 1-2 weeks, then I would have gotten induced. Anyways, her due date came and went...and FINALLY 3 days later I started having contractions at 3am (10 min apart).  By 4am I decided to jump in the shower (my husband thought I was crazy because we should be headed to the hospital).  By the time I got in the shower they started to increase and were 5 min apart. We called his parents to get Cole ready for school and onto the bus.  They got to our house at 5am, then I realized I couldn't find ANY of my flip flops (Cole has this obsession of taking shoes and throwing them behind the TV, in the washer, in boxes etc.  I didn't have one matching pair and I was yelling at the hubby to "FIND ME SOME NOWWW!!!", I found a pair, grabbed my bag and we were out the door!  I got checked into my room at 6am & was dialed to a 5...they asked how bad I was in pain...I said a "6" & they couldn't believe I wasn't in more pain. I got epidural shortly after, and was at a "9" an hour later.  They broke my water & prepped everything.  I started push but she was turned sideways, had a shoulder cord & my contractions were only 5min apart, so they had me push 4 TIMES for every contraction.  She finally made her arrival at 8am.  She was BEAUTIFUL and that first cry that you get to hear is the BEST SOUND IN THE WORLD!!!  Seriously, I think that is my favorite part about meeting my babies for the first time.



I can't believe Cole is 5 now!  He is a beautiful boy...and I'm so glad we got to celebrate his 5th birthday "low key"!

Cole NEVER gets sweets...and when I say NEVER...I mean ONLY on his birthday! He got a Sweet Tooth Fairy Cupcake (without the frosting...booo! I guess he has lame parents!).

We took him to a "fun center" to ride the carousel (his FAVE!)...we let him ride  3 rounds and he LOVED it, when it was time to get off...Crazy Cole came out & it was game over!

Some of his favorite things to do are:

Waits for Daddy to climb into bed with him (on the weekends) and while I'm "trying" to sleep...they take turns yelling "THAAAANKS"!  It's their "thing" they do, and if I try to do it, Cole yells & gets mad until I stop and then it's all giggles once daddy starts to say it again.

He yells "THAAAANKS" in daddy's face and laughs his head off!

He likes to make "tents" and his other FAVORITE thing to do is eat why not do them at the same time.  It was pretty cute cuz you could see a little hand poke out from under the blanket to sneek an apple.

He LOVES to go in his play room and slide down the slide...
and hide underneath!

He LOVES his teacher Miss. Tiffany & says "Go Cole" to her when he gets off the bus at school...he waits till she says it back and then giggles after!

He does "time out" now...he actually likes it...I'm not sure why...but he planks, hangs up side down & jabbers to his self while on time out!
LOVES it when daddy is home to get him off the bus!
and of course...teasing his dog! ...he sticks his fingers in her mouth so she will "nip" at him and says "oooowwee" over & over & over...each time he looks at us so we can acknowledge that he "got hurt".


This year we decided to skip going to Cleveland for his follow-up apt since I was going to be 8 months pregnant. We did his EEG here locally...and this was the longest period of time that he has gone without an EEG (one year!!!). And WOW...age sure makes a difference! This kid is VERY STRONG & VERY STUBBORN...and well, he was born a FIGHTER!!! The older he gets, the more people we need to hold him down.  Anyways, we got the results back from the local Neuro and he was SHOCKED that his EEG looked like a "normal" 5 year old child.  However, we didn't get him while he was sleeping...they need to see how his EEG looks while sleeping because it shows the "background activity" and can be very different from sleep to wake.  He no longer takes naps, so unless we do an overnight EEG, we won't know what his EEG looks like, but I was still happy with the results!

Cole also went to his first dentist apt...which the receptionist was so kind to tackle and hold Cole down for me since I was due to have a baby any day.  She had to sit/straddle him, just like we have to do EVERY TIME we brush his teeth!  I'm so glad I found an amazing dentist and wonderful employees who are SO VERY HELPFUL with Cole!!!  ...I had to post this picture because it's too funny...Cole is always messing around!


I'm so behind in my posts it's not even funny! ...but I do have a good excuse...we have a sweet little girl in our home now (which I will post about soon!). Cole has been falling asleep on daddy's lap for a few months now (thank goodness because being pregnant and climbing in & out of his bed, while trying to not let the bed squeak was kinda impossible! And my back was killing me!!! I can't even tell you how much this little boy loves his is a bunch of pics of Cole falling asleep on his dad...with random things in his hands! (which is a big deal for him to play/carry objects around!).
 a blanket.
a water bottle.
a lego.
another water bottle.
a football.
a phone.
another lego & his dog.
his jeans.

Cole didn't like that dad took his hand off of him, so he grabbed his hand to put it back on him.  He is EXTREMELY opinionated now!



Here's the video I promised I would post of the LightAide!  Cole is trying out Lily the LightAide for the first time.  He is working on "eye tracking", and tracking the Blue Light as we push the button. It is very user friendly so I think he will have the "button" down in no time!



Well, our bathroom is FINALLY done...right before the arrival of the baby!  ...we won't talk about how long it's been.  Actually, for the "RECORD"'s been a year since we started on this bad boy.  And when I mean "we"...I mean my husband.  2 of the most asked questions we have gotten this year..."how are you feeling" & "is your bathroom done".  We can cross one off the list...and hopefully the other this week (2 days is my due date!).  I'm in LOVE with my new bathroom...and let me tell you...when you don't use an area or room the whole time you've lived in your house...and then get to use it ONE YEAR AFTER, it feels like your house grew!  The new bathroom is ALL MINE!  My husband is so nice, he decided to stay in the old bathroom with Cole (which needs to be worked on next year because of a few minor issues...but it's nothing like what we found in our master bathroom! so it can & will have to wait). PROPS TO MY HANDY HUSBAND...who did ALL of the work! Luckily he worked for a Fire, Mold & Flood Company a few years he knew EXACTLY what to do to make make sure we wouldn't have a Mold Issue again! ....and I was the "designer"!

Here are the BEFORE pictures:
(our MOLD infested bathroom...the culprit...that handicapped seat!!!)

There were *TWO* Layers of flooring...and *TWO* Layers of MOLD under that flooring!
(can you see the flooring buckling?)

 The Lovely Brass & Wood Trim!

*THIS* was under the cabinet!!!!  YUCK. 

Gutting Process:

EVERYTHING got the "boot"...all the way down to the basement ceiling!

 ...out the window!

 There were MANY MANY trips to Home Depot & Lowes.
(look how cute he is...that was when he used to suck his thumb!)

....and MANY MANY MORE trips to Home Depot.
(all 3 of us felt like this)...DONE!!!
I can't even tell you how many different tiles for the floor & shower that we returned...along with vanity tops, sinks, wrong parts etc. etc. etc.

 (hubby added an awesome LED pot light above the tub!)

Tile Flooring: Home Depot.
(looks like hardwood)

Custom Built in Shelving: My handy man!
Baskets: Michaels (BOGO Free).
Bamboo Roman Shades: Lowes (custom cut).

Light Fixture: Costco $19.
Mirror: Frame $2 from Yard Sale (spray painted metallic) 
& Custom Mirror cut to fit $25 from Joans Paint & Glass.

 Paint Colors:
WALL COLOR- Benjamin Moore's Halo
TRIM- Benjamin Moore's Base White

The shower curtain was the ONLY thing we kept from the bathroom! 

 Deep Soaking Tub: Lowes. 
This tub was a STEAL!!!  We got it on Black Friday last year...20% off
 PLUS a FREE deep soaker overflow ($88 value)

***we went with a "normal sized tub" that is deep to soak in, WITHOUT JETS because Jets are trouble for mold & leaking...we didn't want a "repeat" of mold issues
...just something to think about if you are replacing your tub!***

Dual Flushing Toilet: Costco $88
(GREAT DEAL for a dual flushing toilet!!!)

Subway Tile: Home Depot
Mosaic Tile: Home Depot
White Grout: Home Depot

Chrome Faucet: Lowes
Granite Top & Vanity: McCoy's
(yes, my husband can make custom cabinets
...but we were SO done with this bathroom
...we just bought one instead!)
 Towel Bar Kit: Costco $19

And there you have it!  That is how this BEAUTY came to life...with all of my husbands hard work & sweat!'s CRAZY how fast EVERYTHING adds up...I'm not sure how much we ended up spending and we even tried to keep the cost low (out of nessessity) but the cost not listed adds up A LOT like:
-new floor boards
-sheet rock
-paint/painting supplies
-new electrical
-new light plates
-new plumbing 

BUT, THANKFULLY we didn't have to pay for the labor or it would have costs THOUSANDS of dollars more!  ...Cole was so sweet to help out his daddy!