Saturday, December 27, 2008

Away in how many mangers?

Christmas is special no matter how you celebrate it, but adding a toddler to the mix adds an extra Ho!Ho!Ho! to it all.  Cora Sophia has certainly kept us in stitches this Christmas.  Here are some random moments we’ve enjoyed…

 

Nativity devotional…every night before bed we’ve been reading a story about the different characters who played a significant role in the first Christmas.  Cora learned quite a bit about the angel, shepherds, wise men, baby Jesus, Mary, and “Jo-sah”.  In an attempt to get Cora to say Jo-seph she replied “Jo-sephia Brown!!!”  

 

Christmas programs…In her day care program, Cora’s class was singing Jingle Bells and Angels Watching Over Me.  For a little girl who loves to sing all the time and in tune, we were quite surprised when her class took the stage with bells in hand and all she did was keep her mouth shut until the end of the song when she decided to whop her neighbor upside the head with her bell(yes, it was on purpose.)…Her church Christmas program went a little smoother.  We practiced and practiced Away in a Manger and cora was quite good at it.  The morning of the program, she walked on stage in her angel costume and stood quietly, waiting to start the song.  She studied the audience and spotted the pastor’s wife. “HI  KERI!” she yelled and waved.  She continued eyeing the congregation and her eyes caught on the sound booth in the balcony “Hi Daddy!  HI DADDY!”  Then the piano began the intro to their song.  Cora pointed in the direction of the piano and told the teen behind her “It’s Away in a manger!”  The toddlers began singing, all except Cora.  She looked around and then began “Away in a manger…”  looked around some more as the other children continued singing, and then started again “Away in a manger”….giggling ensued from those seated and Cora recognized her audience.  Three more times she started the song until the wee choir stopped singing.  The program was a success, even if Jesus slept in five different mangers.

 

Read My Bible Daddy…I wish I’d been present for this moment…the evening of my star performance as one of the supremes, Geron and Cora had a daddy daughter date.  They went out for Tahtoes(tacos) and played at home.  At bedtime Cora asked Geron for her Bible.  He handed it to her, she opened it and questioned Geron “Read me my Bible, Daddy”, handing it to him, opened.  Geron looked down, and saw she’d opened to Luke 2, the Christmas story.  Of course he read it to her!

 

As for presents, Cora has had PLENTY to open and has opened Cohen’s, too.  She’d been dying to open the gifts sitting under our tree and I discovered that she had torn into one.  I reprimanded her for it and she left the gifts alone after that.  The night we went over to some friends’ house for dinner, they gave Cora a present.  “Thant you, Amanda! Thant you!” she delighted as she hugged the gift Amanda had just handed her.  Geron leaned down and said “Sweetheart, you can open that.”  Expecting chaos, I watched as tiny scrap after scrap was torn away from the wrapped package.  And I began kicking myself for being a stickler for wrapping paper instead of bags.  Next year, next year.

 

Having a little one at Christmas certainly adds much cheer to every gathering.  Watching them race through the house chasing the bigger kids and sticking their tiny finger in the icing on the cake at the edge of the dessert table every time they pass by, to exclaiming “It’s Strobbycake!!!”at the site of their new Strawberry Shortcake coloring book, to baking cookies for santa claus and trying to sneak an extra cookie off the tray , to “Read me my Bible, Daddy”, Christmas is extra special when you celebrate it with a child. 

 

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Kindergarteners are proof that God has a sense of Humor

I think Art Linkletter was the name of the guy who hosted the show “Kids Say the Darndest Things”.  I’m sure he would appreciate what Cody said to me today.  Cody is a very sweet five year old, who tends to get into trouble from time to time.  I don’t know if it’s because he’s the biggest kid in his class or just a typical boy.  Anyway, today, he attempted to compliment me.  I was working at the table next to his desk and I noticed he was studying everything I was doing.  Finally, he said “Mrs.Brown, you look pretty today.”  “That’s sweet of you to say, Cody.  Thank you” I replied.  Then, in a bashful, yet sweet tone he added “You look like you’re having another baby today.”  I said “I’m not having another baby. I’m just fat.”  Without a blink he said, “I know” and again he added very sweetly, “You look like you’re having another baby today.” 

God knows I need to learn to laugh at myself.  This was certainly the moment for it today. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

ESP

Before you think I’ve fallen for this psycho mumbo jumbo, let me make myself clear.  ESP isn’t what you think it is.  In my living room, it is referred to as Extra Smelly Poop.  ESPD, actually, with the D meaning that it came from a Dog. 

 

Yes, we were puppy-sitting this morning for Geron’s parents.  Tucker, their shih tzu was going to Collegedale today, but had a morning layover at our house.  Cora was thrilled to pieces to have Tucker over.  They chased each other all around the house like cowboys and Indians. 

 

In the kitchen, I laid out an old towel as a potty mat for Tucker in case he had an emergency.  I took him out several times just in case.  Well, during their chase-fest, I noticed Cora and Tucker were playing tug-of-war with the towel.  Oh well, so much for a potty mat, I thought.  A while later I noticed a stench.  I thought cora had done some buisness in her pants.  I followed her to her room and then spotted something on her foot.  Poo.  I picked her up, took her to the bathroom, sat her in the tub and wiped her off. Leaving her in a dry tub to await the coming bath, I then ran through the kitchen , dining room and living room looking for the stink bomb which cora hadn’t laid, by the way.  I found part of it on the emergency towel, part on the floor and a nice big one on Cora’s playhouse.   So, I picked it up with some toilet paper, flushed it and cleaned up the floor.  I put Tucker in his crate, headed to the bathroom and gave Cora a bath. 

 

In the midst of all of this, I learned a lesson. Puppies and toddlers should not co-exist, or cohabitate, that is.  And I learned something else, too.  While I love dogs, I’ve decided to settle for enjoying the ones that belong to other people.  (…Thanks, Daddy.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fall Pics


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Monday, November 17, 2008

Monkey See Monkey Do

Last night, our good friend, Jan, who keeps Cora at church, told us a funny about Cora and her pal, William.  William is our pastor’s three year old son.   While he and Cora often fight like cats and dogs, we believe she adores him and wants to do what he does.  Jan brought the movie Madagascar to the nursery one night to show the kids.  William apparently can recite it word for word from start to finish.  Jan mentioned that at one point in the movie, William pretending to be one of the animals, walked over to her and ACTED like he was biting her on the leg.  He didn’t actually bite her, just put his mouth on her pants.  Cora, watching William and wanting to be like him, walked over to Jan and LAID INTO her other leg with a fierce bite.  Jan didn’t scold her as she knew Cora was only repeating what she thought she’d seen William do.  However, Jan did say she needed to be careful about what movies she brought for the kids to watch in the future.  Besides the fact that it isn’t a toddler movie, I’d say they probably won’t be watching anything like Karate Kid…

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Grandpa's Boy

If you know my dad, then you know his "signature outfit", to borrow a
phrase from the style channel show HOW DO I LOOK, is a blue oxford cloth
shirt, khaki pants, and a hat like this one. Cohen, believe it or not, is
still a little small for the blue shirt and khakis my parents gave him to go
with the hat, but I couldn't wait any longer to put the hat on him. He
looked way too adorable...although one of my teen friends at church said he
looked like a bus-driver.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Precious Moments

By this title, I’m not referring to the figurines, ornaments, collectibles, etc.  More like sweet times with Cora.  I blog more often about her humorous quirks, but tonight I want to share a precious little blessing.

 

No doubt God uses our children to teach us.  I learn things about our Heavenly Father all the time from my little daughter.  It’s not like she just says “Mommy, the Lord told me to tell you…blah, blah, blah.”  But it’s in more subtle ways that I hear Him working through her and in the way we respond to her.  This evening at bedtime, I read a book to Cora and then I read a brief story about Jesus from her picture Bible.  When I finished reading and we had talked about the picture some, Cora said “I want more Jesus, Mommy.  I want more Jesus.”  I believe God was pleased by her response.  She’s only two years old, doesn’t know much about Jesus at all other than we pray to Him, yet, she hears just a bit about him and immediately wants MORE of Him.  A little later when Geron came in for her bedtime prayers, he asked her if she wanted to learn a special prayer that Jesus taught us to pray.  She said “yes”, so Geron prayed the Lord’s prayer with her.  I was so touched.

 

I want to be like Cora.  To hear about Jesus and not be satisfied with just a little, but to want more and more of Him.  Thank you, God, for using my daughter to speak to me. 

 

Jesus said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  Mark 10:14b and 15

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

we call him "Moose"

So It's been a little while since we updated you on Cohen, He's doing pretty good. We had him at the Doctor yesterday, and he topped the scales at over 17 lbs. I would say he's a chip off of the old block, but he's more of a chunk off the old block. Now for your viewing pleasure. Let the Awe's begin...

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kiss my what?

Tonight, after saying her bedtime prayers, Cora laid back on her bed, kicked her legs up in the air and said “Kiss my butt. Kiss my butt, Daddy. Kiss my butt!” We totally lost it…and then realized she wasn’t saying what we thought she was saying at all. Cora can’t make the “f” sound yet…remember ‘pish’ and ‘hi-pibe’? Apparently she wanted Geron to kiss her FOOT.

i need more...

Okay, I know I posted about needing more awhile back. Here’s a new one and I’ll keep it brief. Cora loves veggie tales, so today she came in the living room and said “I need more larry and bob!”

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fun with our 2-month check-up

Today Cohen had his 2-month check-up and along with that, shots.  5 of them.  When we gasped at the amount of shots our baby was going to have today, the good doctor said “It beats Polio.”  Thanks for putting things into the proper perspective, Doc!  I’d forgotten what a pitiful cry a 2-month-old could have when someone is continually sticking needles in their legs.  I’d forgotten what a pitiful cry a 31-year-old man could have when someone is sticking needles in his infant son’s legs. No, Geron didn’t really cry.  I didn’t cry either.  While I certainly felt pity for my precious baby boy who was bawling in pain, I also felt kind of numb. We’ve seen Cora go through so much worse already in her short two-years and compared to her numerous catheterizations, blood work, and spinal tap, well, this was a walk in the park.  Still, we comforted him as best we could and gave him some Tylenol for relief.

 

Cohen has slept all evening, maybe awake for 30 minutes at the most, and broke out into the most awful wail while I changed him into his p.j.’s.  After a second dose of Tylenol, we were finally able to calm him enough to put him in his crib.  I expect several wake-up calls throughout the evening, though. 

 

As for my constant worrying over the past few weeks of whether Cohen was getting enough to eat, I’d say I’ve been pretty foolish…and blind.  Everyone who sees him comments on how big he is getting and asks what I’ve been feeding him.  One lady asked if I gave him Miracle Grow.  You’d also think that wearing size 3-6 months clothes at 2 months of age would be a good sign that the baby’s had plenty.  But I’m kind of a “Thomas”.  I need something to put my hands on.  So, today, we put him on the scale in the doc’s office and our baby boy weighed in at a whopping 15 lbs and 9 ½ oz.  I’d say he’s good. 

 

I’m going to hit the hay now.  This, 10p.m., is actually a little late for me these days since I get up at 5a.m. every day now.  So, pray for an extra dose of energy for me tomorrow. 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Back to School

I’ve taken almost every possible day I could take off with Cohen and now I am going back to work.  I wish I were going back to school instead but I haven’t figured out how to make that work financially yet.  So, for now, Cohen is going to the sitter’s and Cora to preschool.  It stinks, but I’m looking forward to adult conversation and getting to know a new group of kindergarteners. 

 

I am praising God for great babysitters.  The ladies who kept Cora for us will be keeping Cohen three days a week and our pastor’s wife will be keeping him the other two days.  I don’t doubt that Cohen will be well taken care of and loved.  I’m especially excited that both places have dogs, so Cohen can learn to appreciate animals.  Eventually we’d like to get a dog but in the meantime Cohen can play with LB, KC and Bailey. 

 

Please pray for us tomorrow as this will be the longest time we’ve been apart from each other. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

manners

Cora is learning to use good manners.  We’ve been pretty successful in teaching her to say please and thank you.  Granny and Grandpa even taught her ‘you’re welcome.’  One night I’d given Cora something and was trying to get her to say ‘thank you’.  I asked “What do you say?”  I think she was on manner-overload because I got a “Please! You’re Welcome!” in return.  She’s also picked up “excuse me” which she uses consistently when she is trying to get by someone.  Still needs work on using it after a belch or toot. “Bless you” is also something we’ve been working on.  Cora will bless you after a sneeze as well as proceeding hiccups, toots, and belches.

 

Most recently, we have been trying to teach Cora “yes, ma’am” and “yes sir”.  Like most little ones, Cora hasn’t quite got gender specification down yet.  She often says “yes, ma’am, Daddy” and “yes, sir, Mommy”.  Last night I got really tickled when Geron was trying to be serious with Cora and she said very solemnly “yes sir ma’am.”  I guess we have a ways to go there, but it sure is fun watching her learn.

Monday, September 22, 2008

S-S-S-sssslide

Tonight, the kids and I decided to play in the backyard after dinner.  Well, Cohen didn’t actually play…but anyway.  Cora has a swingset with a slide and seesaw attached.  As I was holding Cohen, I wasn’t able to push Cora on the swing, but we did seesaw some in a round-about way.  And she could climb the ladder to her slide and go down by herself.  (Don’t worry, Dad, I held her left hand as she slid so that she wouldn’t get it caught.)  Cora really needed this time outside tonight and I needed to spend it with her. 

So, while we were outside enjoying the slide, I tried to teach Cora how to say ‘slide’ properly.  She always says “Pwide.”  (she also says “pimb” for climb…I don’t know why she says either of them the way she does.)  Cora would go up the ladder and then say “Pwide!” and slide down.  In an attempt to correct her I said “Slide, Cora.  Say ‘s-s-s-sssslide’.”  Cute as ever, Cora piped up “s-s-s- PWIDE!” 

 

We’ll work on it again another day.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

One of THOSE parents

Pre-kids, I used to watch children run all over the place in church and swear up and down that I wouldn’t be one of THOSE parents who let their children act that way…

 

Enter:  Cora Sophia Brown

Enter:  Pastor Matt

 

Exit:  Former frame of mind

 

I love our church!  My daughter is one of those kids that runs all over the place.  So is the Pastor’s 3-year-old son and so are lots of other kids in our church.  And it’s all good.  My daughter is one of those kids that, on the rare occasion she gets to sit with us in a church service, yells to people she knows…dances on stage during the children’s Christmas program and during children’s Sunday school promotion…gives high-fives after PaPa says “amen” during her baby brother’s dedication…

 

Yes, I’ve become one of those parents.  AND I’ve found out that it’s not a bad way to be.  Especially in our church.  Thing is, if you’re going to let your kids run and act like kids, where better to do it than the church?  Our church loves kids and wants them be themselves.  Jesus loves kids and wants them to be themselves.  He’s the one who said “Let the children come to me.” 

 

Our new pastor will tell you that our church is changing and that it has nothing to do with him.  Yes, God is doing the changing AND Pastor Matt, if you’re checking this, He’s using you to help bring those changes.  I am excited about the direction our church is growing in.  I didn’t mean to say “growing”, but that’s the truth of the matter.

 

I recently read an article in one of Geron’s worship magazines about what the church should be.  It was referring to the New Testament church in Acts 2:42-47.  I went home and read more about that church and God convicted me.  I’ve played a role in church most of my life.  I’ve always played the piano for something, sang in some sort of choir, been involved in a Sunday School class or Bible study group.  In college, I spent several summers doing missions in various places.  I feel like Paul, sort of, saying all these things that if anyone has reason to boast about being a church member, it was me.  BUT HEAVEN FORBID that I continue my life in this way.  Granted all of those things I have participated in are good.  In 1 Corinthians 13 (the love passage) God’s Word says that no matter what good I do, if I don’t have love, I am nothing.  All those things I mentioned doing above, a lot of them were out of a sense of duty more so than love.  The New Testament church in Acts—those people had LOVE for each other.  I want to be that kind of person, that kind of church member.  I’ve got a ways to go.  I have never been very outgoing, but that may be what God is requiring of me now.  I want people that come to Grace church and those that I encounter in my everyday life to remember me as someone who loves the Lord and who loves them. I want people who come to Grace church to feel like they are part of a family of believers who loves them just as they are, even with hyper active children. You who are my friends and are reading this, please hold me accountable to be who God is calling me to be and not settle for less, even when it’s harder to do the right thing.

 

I am one of THOSE parents who lets their kid run around in the church building and be a kid.  I am one of THOSE parents who is starting to see what matters most is that her child and other children are LOVED and free to be who God is creating them to be.  I want people to love my kids and help teach them that they are valuable to God.  And I want to be one of THOSE people who does that for other people’s children.  How about you?

Friday, September 19, 2008

I need more...

Cora recently learned a new phrase and is using it on an everyday basis now.  I think our friend, Jenna, may have taught it to her because the night she kept the nursery was when we first noticed Cora saying it.  “I need more” she said.  Not just “Pweez”, “Cora bite” or “Cora have it” but decipherable English and correct grammar “I need more”. 

As we were on the road this past week, Cora put her new phrase to good (and cute) use quite frequently.  “I need more water, Mommy.”  “I need more Gatorade, YaYa.”  “I need more French fries, Daddy.”  On the way home, out of the blue, Cora said “I need doughnut, Daddy.  I need doughnut, PaPa.  I need doughnut, YaYa.”  We, of course, found it pretty amusing and did NOT get her a doughnut—she certainly didn’t need more of those. 

 

The kicker came at Wednesday night bedtime.  Our immediate family was sleeping in the living room at Geron’s great-aunt’s house.  We had an air mattress on the floor for Cora, and Geron had stretched out beside her on it.  They said bedtime prayers, gave hugs, high-fives, etc.  Geron gave her a sugar and then one of those sweet, precious, unforgettable moments happened.  The kind of moment that makes your heart melt…you want to hit the rewind button on the remote…you want to make time stand still.  A precious little groggy voice said “I need more sugar, daddy.” 

 

“I need more sugar, Daddy.”  I’m just Mommy and it didn’t happen to me, but I still caught a glimpse of sweetness and it gives me hope.  As I watch Cora grow and go through the phase the world refers to as “terrible two’s”, I hold on to this moment as tightly as I can because it’s proof that there is still a loving little girl somewhere behind the defiant personality.   I will continue to hold on to this moment for years to come…I have a feeling it will be an incredible source of strength when we hit the pubescent stage of life. 

 

“I need more…”  I don’t stop to consider often enough how the Lord uses our children to teach us.  So simply and boldly Cora comes to us and says “I need more…” and if it’s good, we give it to her without hesitation.  We want to give Cora good things and lots of them.  How much more does God want to give us?  All we have to do is ask.  What do you need more of?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Royal Mess

Tonight I attempted to fix a problem that Cora had been having with her hair/scalp.  She has had cradle cap lately.  I read on line that it could be treated by rubbing Vaseline or baby oil on the scalp an hour before shampooing to loosen the scales.  Mind you, this was recommended for babies and Cora isn’t a baby anymore AND Cora has a LOT of hair.  So, tonight, I, not thinking about the consequences, tried the Vaseline treatment. 

 

I used a LOT of Vaseline.  It worked.  The scales came right up.  I shampooed her hair several times with baby shampoo.  Then, I shampooed it with Palmolive.  The Vaseline would NOT come out.  She had the yuckiest mess of hair.  She looked like she should be singing “Go, Grease Lightening!”  Geron and I had a little fun with her oily hair before sending her to bed.  I’ll post pics when we download them. 

 

While the Vaseline was a successful treatment for removing the scaly patches on her head and it made for some fun and games with Mommy, Daddy and daughter, I now have a royal mess on my hands.  Does anyone know how to get Vaseline out of hair and does anyone know a better remedy for cradle cap should it develop in the future?  Please help! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Saving Doughnuts

Sunday morning, a friend of ours brought doughnuts to church and included some of our favorites in the batch.  Sunday evening, there was a box leftover with one of each of our favorites and a glazed.  As we were about to leave the church, I took the blueberry one out and split it amongst the pastor’s daughters and myself.  Then, Geron gave the glazed to one of the girls as well.  He saved his old-fashioned for home. 

 

When we got home, Geron put the box of one doughnut on the counter and we went to the living room to sit down and unwind.  Awhile later, as we were into BIG BROTHER, Cora walked into the living room eating a doughnut.  We looked at each other as to say “Did you give her that?”  Geron took the doughnut away from her and took it back to the kitchen.  He put it back in the box and moved it to the top of the stove.  He and Cora came back to the living room and he sat down and reclined in his chair.  Cora continued to play as we returned to finding out who Dan would nominate for eviction. 

 

A little while later, Cora came into the living room again with THE doughnut.  She piped up so brightly “I got it, Daddy!  I got your doughnut!” as she ate it in front of him.  He asked “Cora, should you be eating Daddy’s doughnut?”  Sweetly, she answered “YEAH!”  (By this time I was practically rolling on the floor in tears from laughing so hard.) This time, instead of taking the doughnut—what was left of it—back to the kitchen, Geron went ahead and ate it.  I think he gave Cora a piece. 

 

I need to have her determination!  Things out of her reach, she doesn’t consider out of her reach until she’s tried everything possible to obtain them.  God uses her to teach me every day and often I don’t recognize Him doing it.  Thanks for the lesson, Lord.  And Cora, keep your hands off the doughnuts!

 

 

Disclaimer: For any of you who are concerned that Cora didn’t have any doughnut, she had some bites of one at church earlier and also ate quite a bit of the one she’d confiscated. 

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sleep Talking/Walking

I probably started talking in my sleep the week I was born, really.  All I know is my parents, my middle school Sunday School teacher, my college friends, and my husband can all testify to crazy things I’ve apparently said and even done in my sleep.  This week’s rest time was no exception.

 

I, being the very sound sleeper that I am, have tended to sleep through Cohen’s crying spells until Geron has practically kicked me out of bed to check on him.  One night this week, I got up with the baby and sat on the side of my bed rocking the baby.  The baby just would not stop crying.  Geron asked me what was wrong and said I replied “I don’t know where Cora’s bottles are.”  That prompted him to sit up in bed and see what was going on.  He said “Lydia, wake up!”  THE BABY I thought I was rocking and patting was my pillow.  Cohen was crying in his bassinet/play yard.  Needless to say, I quickly got up and fed him after that. 

 

And that wasn’t the only night this week…another evening I got up after Geron shoved me awake.  The baby kept crying and Geron said “What’s the matter?”  “I can’t find Cora.”  Again, he had to make sure I was awake and then I was able to care for Cohen. 

 

It’s a very good thing Geron works in town.  I would never make it as a single mom.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Family Togetherness

Here's a pic of the whole gang at Cora's most recent birthday party. We
had one at Chucky Cheese two/three weeks ago and then had another one at the
park this past weekend. It was nice having the whole family together for
once. My brother lives in the Chicago area and my sister and her husband
are in Franklin, just outside of Nashville. Ganny and Gimpaw (as Cora calls
my parents for now) live straight up I-75 about 5 hours away, in Georgetown
KY. So, yeah, it's not often that we all are together.

Cora is actually holding a piece of sidewalk chalk in this picture, but it
looks like she's using it as a microphone. Pretty much anything that
resembles the shape of a microphone, she will use as one. At home, it's the
toilet paper holder. I'm not sure whether I like it or the chalk better, as
she puts both in her mouth. AND YES, she actually has 2 real microphones at
home which also go in her mouth.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Sky Clouded Up and Rained On My Sunshine



We had a HORRENDOUS evening. I don't know what happened to Cora, but at 6 or 7 last night, she started whining and got progressively more upset. Neither Geron nor I could figure out what was wrong.

We tried several tactics to calm her. I put Cohen down and offered to hold her. She was not interested. Geron offered to hold her and take her to the potty. She went but was still upset. I put her in the bath--Cora is CRAZY about taking baths!--She stayed in long enough for me to wash her hair and then was fussing again, wanting out. I got her dressed and Geron put the Wonder Pets on for her. She held all of her Wonder Pets and watched the episode in a trance. Finally, she seemed to be okay.

At bedtime, Cora acted like her usual self and we thought we had made it through her rough spell unscathed, well, shuffled a little bit. We were wrong. Around midnight or so, we woke up to crying from her room. (Geron woke up, I should say..I am a very sound sleeper.) He was up on and off with her at least five times or so before 2 o'clock. Exhausted, he got back to sleep, I think. The next time she woke up, it was my turn. I got up on and off with her and finally ended up laying on her bed for a time. She would sleep, sit up and cry, lay back down and sleep again. When I thought she'd made it back to sleep, I went to bed. The evening wasn't over. Again, Geron got up with her and ended up giving her some medicine which I think finally helped her get some sleep.

As I post, it is 8:45 a.m. and Cora is still not up. I checked on her to make sure she was okay. Sound asleep. For a little girl who normally goes to bed at 9 and wakes up at 6:45 or 7, this is unusual. Even when she goes to bed late, she still wakes up at dark thirty. Please pray for Cora today, and us as we sleepwalk through our routines. I think Cohen is the only one in our house who got his usual amount of sleep. He's just fat and sassy. (Guess I shouldn't call a little boy 'sassy'.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Praises!

I am praising Jesus tonight for good results today.  Cohen’s doctor called this afternoon and said the ultrasound was once again NORMAL.  Thank you all for your prayers today.  God is good!

Ultrasound

Today we are taking Cohen to have an ultrasound on his head.  His pediatrician hasn’t given us any cause to worry.  Cohen has a small bump on the back right side of his head which has bothered me some.  The doctor had a name for what he thought it could possibly but I have forgotten it.  Doc told us it could be the possible reason for why his bilirubin count was so high.  Whatever the case, we hope to find out something today.  Our ultrasound is basically, and hopefully only, a follow-up to all the tests we had this summer. 

 

Please keep us as well as the ultrasound techs and doctors in your prayers today.  I was not a worrier pre-kids, but have been a major one since.  I know the Bible tells us “Do not worry” and I have verses/promises that I hold on to for this very reason.  Last night the Lord gave me another one to help me through this day…

After Jesus heals many in Matthew 8…

                Vs.17 “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”

The Lord is concerned about my children and loves them more than I ever could in all my years combined.  I trust Him to take care of Cohen and Cora and find my hope in Him today that we will be okay.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Potty Training...HELP!!!

Cora has really started to get the hang of going potty.  She’s been peeing in the potty for quite a bit of the summer and just recently surprised us by doing number 2 TWICE in the potty this past weekend.  On Monday, she went grocery shopping with Geron at the local Wally World and used a BIG potty without complaint. In the evenings this week, she has told us when she needed to go potty, we’ve taken her, and she has used it 99% of the time (dry diaper every time except for some poopies). 

 

HELP!!!

 

While we are having great success with Cora at home and when we are out, she is refusing to use the potty at preschool/day care.  Her teachers are both really sweet ladies and one of them is QUEEN of potty trainers.  The potty in Cora’s classroom is a toddler-size version of a real, flushing toilet.  Nothing there to be scared of really, especially since she’s been sitting on larger toilets in public places and now at home.  So, does anyone have an idea why Cora won’t use the toilet at school?  Geron suggested that perhaps he and I are the only people she trusts to take her to the potty.  It makes since.  ADVICE is welcome.  Please help!

 

 

Saturday, August 23, 2008

BIG surprise!

Today is Cora's 2nd birthday--HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CORA!!

I think Cora decided she needed to prove to us that she is really a big girl this weekend. Yesterday, from the time she came home from preschool, every time she told me she wanted to go potty, she actually DID go potty. And last night she REALLY went potty. She made her first poopy in the potty! YEA CORA!!! Nobody had to yank her out of her squatting position and race to the bathroom...she KNEW she had to go, told me, and we went. Today at naptime, she did it again...poopy in the potty, that is. I am soooooo proud of my big girl. And we're already going to Chucky Cheese for her birthday anyway, so we'll celebrate a little extra there.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

WATERWORKS

Not the water park at Kings Island-

 

One question…

 

At what point do baby boys stop peeing on you?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Reflecting

Since I’ve been home I’ve been reflecting on Cohen’s birth experience and comparing it with Cora’s.  It was obviously different in that I had no complications in surgery this time---Praise God!  I was awake for the entire birth this time around and was able to take things in and really focus on what was going on.  After considering all that has happened in both experiences, and most importantly, the wonderful children I have received, I think I’m going to end on a good note.

 

When we were getting ready to deliver Cora, we had planned to have her at Erlanger East. We’d taken all our childbirth classes there, had toured the facility, and had the benefit of it being within walking distance to my doctor’s office.  Plus, lots of my friends had delivered their babies there and were really pleased with their experience.  Unfortunately, as we got close to Cora’s due date and discovered we were going to have to have a c-section and have it fast, we were forced to go to the hospital with the first available OR.  That put us at Parkridge East, several miles away from doc’s office, and at last minute, him on his own with the nurses and anesthesiologist in the OR.  When complications arose, it was a bit of time before his partner could arrive to help…first of a big difference in the two hospitals. 

 

After Cora was born and I’d had my stay at Parkridge East, I felt pretty good about the care I’d received.  My evening nurses were especially good.  My favorite was a girl named“V”.  I’ve forgotten what the v stood for but remember it was a difficult name to pronounce.  I do remember she treated me and Cora almost like family, making us feel comfortable and well cared for.  I remember a labor nurse I had at Parkridge as well and do not carry fond memories of her.  She seemed very task-oriented and less personable.  For a girl about to have surgery for the first time and deliver her first baby, I needed someone to put me at ease and this girl was not that person.

 

Being a creature of habit, when it was time for Cohen’s birth, I wanted to go back to Parkridge East because I knew how things were done there and despite the one labor nurse, I’d had a pretty good experience and thought that was the place to be.  My doctor preferred Erlanger East, especially with what had happened to me in Cora’s birth, so that he could be close enough to come check on me if anything should go wrong this time.  (not that he was expecting anything).  So, we scheduled delivery of Cohen to take place at Erlanger East.

 

From the very start, 5:30 a.m. on a Monday morning, I realized that I was in a very special place.  The three nurses who prepped me for surgery were about to get off of night shift.  Laura, Rachel and Alicia made me feel like I was the only patient they were taking care of and that they truly cared about my comfort and baby Cohen.  Alicia was especially bubbly, which was exactly what I needed to help me relax and ease some of my fear.  When 7 o’clock hit and the day shift rotation came in, again, I was blessed with kind and considerate nurses.  My parents and in-laws were in the room with us waiting…they were going to be allowed to wait in my room the whole time, which was much better than sitting in a cold waiting room…My mother-in-law recognized one of my nurses right away as the sister of one of her co-workers.  May, the nurse, and Patsy talked while Jenny, the other nurse, asked me questions and entered all kinds of stuff into the computer.  When it was time to go to the OR, May was with me the whole time.  As I sat on the operating table, waiting for the anesthesiologist to give me the spinal block(whatever it’s called) May stood directly in front of me and reassured me that all was going to be okay and that I was doing very good.  I was  very shaky by this time, but May helped me to find some peace. 

 

I won’t go into detail about Cohen’s birth.  There’s no way to retell something as incredible as your child’s birth and make it sound just as amazing as it was as when you went through it.  A few things I will say, unrelated to Cohen…While Geron was at my side and the doctor was getting ready to sew me back up, I said to Geron “Tell doc he can take that tube!”  ( I only have one tube and ovary left after having Cora.)  A little later I said to Geron “Let’s not have any more.” 

 

I was very impressed with all the staff I encountered at Erlanger East.  My day and evening nurses were all wonderful.  I was concerned about being a ‘pesty’ patient…the kind nurses would go tell each other “the girl in 8828 is a pain in the you-know-where.  I hope I don’t have to take care of her again.”  If I was that kind of patient, they certainly didn’t let on, because all of them acted like they genuinely enjoyed caring for Cohen and me and liked cutting up with Geron as well.  Even Alicia, who was only my nurse that very first morning, came back to see me one night.  She brought Cohen to me from the nursery and stayed and visited for a while. 

 

Another person I especially appreciated at Erlanger was one of their lactation consultants, Debbie.  At Parkridge East, I didn’t feel comfortable with LC they had sent to help me.  She seemed very pushy and wanted me to do things her way.  I had difficulty with Cora nursing because due to the fact that I was in surgery for so long that the nurses in the nursery had to give her a bottle.  At Erlanger, Geron, Cohen and I were able to leave the OR together.  Cohen stayed with me from the time he was born until that evening when I put him in the nursery just to get a little bit of sleep.  In the recovery area, I was encouraged to feed Cohen and they sent an LC there to assist me as needed.  I don’t remember her name—just that she was a big fan of the football hold and that someone called her the “Boob nazi”.  The next day, Debbie came to my room to see how things were going.  I told her the football hold wasn’t working for me…I’m not a quarterback…and that I’d like to try something else.  She was very agreeable and said it was about what would work best for me AND the baby.  She was very helpful and I feel as though I have had much more success feeding Cohen than I did with Cora.  I know in part this is due to the fact that I was alert the whole time and on WAY less pain meds this time around, but also to a patient, understanding and encouraging LC named Debbie.

 

The big clincher for me came after I’d been home for two days.  The mail came and I had an envelope from Erlanger.  I assumed it was some kind of form letter that they sent to all their patients to say thank you for choosing our hospital, etc, etc, etc.  I opened it and it was a note card.   All my day nurses had written notes to me congratulating us on Cohen, wishing us the best, and telling me they enjoyed caring for me.  I’m sure they do that for all their patients, but the fact that it was personal meant the world to me.  I knew if Geron and  I did for some reason decide we’d have one more, I’d be going back to Erlanger East. 

 

May wrote a sweet note in the card and beside her name wrote “Isaiah 41:10”, a verse that has been special to me this summer as Preston, my father-in-law, had his heart attack and surgery.  It says:

 

                So do not fear, for I am with you;

                Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

                I will strengthen you and help you;

                I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

 

I am thankful for the people God used to show me that this verse is true.  Through May, Alicia, Janee, Debbie, Jenny, Dr.Kerley, not to mention my family and friends, God revealed to me that He was with me.  By the time my surgery was finished, I was not dismayed.  I knew God was strengthening me and with those nurses He was helping me. When I left the hospital and got a note at home, I was reminded that He would continue to uphold me with his righteous right hand and He has.

 

Blessings to you, my friends, at Erlanger East.  Thank you for your compassion.  May, thank you for your note.  You all are a fabulous team and I appreciate every one of you. 

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Newborn Life

It's been four days since baby Cohen came into this world and I'm head-over-heels in love! With every new baby/family member there are adjustments, and we're making it. Geron has been an awesome husband and daddy this week---always. He can't exactly feed Cohen in the middle of the night, but he's gotten up to change diapers without a complaint. I love to watch him bond with Cohen and hear him call him "son". There's something about a daddy and his boy...Cora is doing pretty well, too. I was worried about her being jealous, but she doesn't seem to be yet. Instead she seems very ADD about Cohen. One minute she's shouting "HI BABY TOHEN!!" at the top of her lungs, trying to kiss him and give him high-5's and the next minute she's running around 'cutting shines' trying to make everyone laugh, as usual---and being successful at that! My mom and dad have been down here all week helping with Cora.

Thursday was our first full day home. So, Granny and Grandpa took Cora to the children's museum downtown. Cora loved it, of course, and I think mom and dad really loved seeing how much Cora enjoyed it. Friday, they took her to the zoo and again, had a blast. I wasn't sure who had more fun, actually, my dad or Cora. I wish I could've gone.

Friday was also Cohen's first trip to the doctor for a well-baby visit. After scoring top marks on his APGAR test in the hospital, I assumed all would be well and good. Instead, we went home with a baby who had jaundice and had a photo unit delivered to our house later that afternoon to keep lights on Cohen 24/7 until his billirubin levels went down. We returned to the doctor this morning to see if things had changed and were told the level was exactly the same as yesterday, so we're up for another night of our little 'glo-worm'. Early this afternoon, I noticed (I really think the Lord brought it to mind for me to check) that a switch on the machine was set on the wrong setting, so I fixed that and am hoping that things will be corrected by tomorrow. We go back to the doctor in the morning so please pray that all goes well through the evening.

My parents went home to Georgetown today. They left right before Cora's nap. They have definitely spoiled her this week, as all grandparents do. I think she will be missing them pretty badly when she sees that I can't take her to do all the fun things she's gotten to this week, at least not for awhile. Pray for her as she adjusts to being a big sister. I think she's going to make a great one. And pray for us as we learn how to raise 'two littles', as my fried Carla says, that we will teach them wisely and that they will always know they are loved.

Blessing on all of you! Stop by and see our newest addition when you can!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

quickie

hey we have some pictures up if you want to see them, click on the pictures tab at the top or here

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

closeup

Posted by Picasa

Going Home

Things have really pretty much been picture Perfect over the last few days. Other than a few very minor feeding issues everything has been great. Lydia has done super and Cohen is progressing well. This morning we should get to go home after Cohen's circumcision. Thanks for all of your prayers and well wishes during this wonderful time.

Monday, August 4, 2008

update on the family

Mommy and baby are just doing great. Lydia has been up and walking and already had her first taste of Starbucks in nine months. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers. Cora was really excited to meet "Baby Cohen". she gave him plenty of love and "shushurs." She briefly held him, but was really excited about the balloons.






Cohen Preston Brown

This is our new baby boy Cohen Preston Brown. He was born this morning at 8:23am and weighs 7lbs 10oz.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

BABY DAY!

Tomorrow morning is the big day!  We have to be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m.  LOVELY.  Surgery is at 7:30 and baby Cohen Preston Brown should be here by 8:00 a.m. Eastern time.  Geron will be posting pics as soon as he can tomorrow, so check back in the morning if you want to see what this little guy looks like.  I’m personally wondering about hair color/skin color/eye color since Geron’s and mine are so different.  We didn’t know what to expect with Cora, but somehow God made her beautiful! 

Please remember us in your prayers.  I certainly won’t ask any of you to get up and pray that early in the morning, but if you would remember us tonight, I would be grateful.  Last time was such a scary experience---more scary for Geron and the family since I was out and didn’t know what was going on.  However, knowing that now, I must confess, has made me nervous.  I told Holly tonight I am feeling somewhat more peaceful about it.  I felt like the devil was trying to rob me of the peace and joy God wants to give me regarding baby Cohen.  Noone has given me reason to believe that anything like last time will happen tomorrow. In fact, my doctor has been extremely reassuring that things will be fine.  I told him in my last appointment if he needed to take anything out besides the baby in order to save my life so that I can enjoy the two children I’m going to have, than take it!  My sister and her husband can bring the next grandchildren into the world---sorry, Ann and Daniel, I know that’s a LOT of pressure.  But hey, it’s your turn!  J 

 

Thank you all for praying for us already and please continue.  We will show off baby Cohen as soon as we can tomorrow. 

 

P.S. please remember Cora in your prayers as well. This is going to be just as big an adjustment for her as it will be for the rest of us. 

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Ch-Ch-Changes (part 2)

Ok, so the new site design is done as you can see. I may do a little tweaking here and there, but we are pretty happy with the look. be sure to check out the links at the top of the page including the links to our shared page over at winkflash

Now would be a good time to update your bookmarks and links to the new web address.
http://blog.geronbrown.com


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What Sesame Street Character is Named "Gigolo?"

Kind of a nerdy title, I know, but that’s exactly what we’ve been trying to do this week. This morning was no exception. It was quite hilarious actually.

Last night, Cora was playing with a stuffed pink poodle. She has given names to a few of her toys: her pug dog purse is named “Pepper”(pretty sure was named after Aunt Lil’s dog) and her baby doll is “Red”(used to be her favorite color to say)---- so Geron asked her what this one’s name was. She piped up something that sounded KIND OF like “doggie”, but wasn’t sure that’s what she’d said. So, he asked her again. “Dophie” was her answer. “Dorothy?” Geron asked. “Dophie!” said Cora. I tried for the life of me to figure out where she’d learned the name “Dorothy”. I could only think of a lady in our church who Cora doesn’t know very well, yet. I was pretty sure it wasn’t from her. Eventually, I remembered Elmo’s goldfish on Sesame Street is named “Dorothy”. AHA! Geron was way ahead of me on it.

So this morning, Cora was in the living room getting into all the baby stuff we were working on. We wanted to find something to entertain her, so we so her to go get her puppy. We asked her what her puppy’s name was and she said “Jig-lo”. Geron and I looked at each other for a second and then, Geron said it… “gigolo?” We were very quick to remind her the puppy’s name was “Dorothy” . Now, we’re trying to find out which Wonder Pet, monster on Sesame Street, or dinosaur on Barney has been talking about gigolos.

Any guesses what she was trying to say?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Ripping books

Timeout chair

update on baby name

Ok, We have left you on the hook long enough, and most of you have figured it out anyway.

If you right click on the page and select "view source" or "view page source" the answer should become apparent.

thanks for all of you that played.

Apprehension

We're down to a week and one day before our son arrives. I'm not sure I'm ready for this.

I'm starting to get nervous about the surgery, even though I've been through it once before. Last time's experience wasn't exactly normal, and while the doctor knows what to look for this time, I can't help but feel a little apprehension. I also have this continuous fear that I'll go into labor before the fourth because this baby is supposedly so much bigger than Cora. My mom jokes that I could go into labor while using the bathroom and not even realize what's going on---apparently as a child I was a lot less of a whimp when it came to pain than I am now.

I know it's too late to go back now, but I'm also beginning to wonder what I've got myself into having two in diapers at the same time! Cora is gradually getting the hang of the potty, but we're far from big girl panties.

Cora will probably be a big help with the baby, I'm guessing. She's a pretty bright little girl, and yes, I'm sure I'm biased because I'm her mommy. She already loves to help with unloading the dishwasher and doing laundry. And she's getting better at putting her toys away when we tell her to. (I spoke to soon. I told her to put some toys away just now and she threw them across the room. Lord, help us!) But Cora loves babies that she sees out and about, so I think she'll be good with her baby brother.

Any prayers offered on our behalf in these next coming weeks would be greatly appreciated---as would offers to babysit an almost 2-year-old little girl!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Birthday

So we have an O.R. booked for Lydia's C-section on Monday, August 4th at 7:30 am. Our baby is actually due the 14th, but our doc usually takes his elective c-sections a week early. And he is out of town the 6th, 7th and 8th; So we were bumped up to the 4th.

Congrats to all of you that have figured the name out, Jeff, Holly, Ann, and Daniel.

Here's a Hint: HTML

Hope the rest of you can figure it out. We will definitely let you know before the big day.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Let The Fun Begin

***Update****
Holly and Jeff Prosser Win the big prize! They were the first to find it. I won't publish their answer, So you can continue searching.
*************

So most of you know that we would never tell you what we will name our new baby until the big day arrives. We know how much our friends and families like puzzles, so here's the deal!

Hidden somewhere in our blog is our new son's full name. It will not be easy to find, only the very clever and those good with codes will find it. But it is there!!!

We have turned on comment moderation until this game is over so you can't spoil the fun for everyone else.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Ch-Ch-Changes

So in prep for the new arrival and the expanding of our family we have made some changes. The OFFICIAL url for the blog is now http://blog.geronbrown.com. if you go to the old address you will be redirected, but you should probably update your bookmarks and links anyway. We will probably be coming up with a newer name for the blog with a little more zip. I promise it won't be "Vive" If you get that lame attempt at humor you have known us a long time. If you don't get it, it's an ekubsu thing.

IN OTHER NEWS... A BABY NAME HAS BEEN CHOSEN!

We aren't gonna tell you what it is, but Lydia and I are both in agreement. We both kinda knew instantly that it was "the one". Cora can say it and almost spilled the beans to pawpaw and yaya tonight. Thanks for all of your suggestions. We'll let you know soon.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

sick

***UPDATE***
This should have posted Tuesday, Cora is much better now.


I'm missing these bright eyes today. Yesterday, Cora woke up with goopy
eyes and today they are the same with red circles underneath. She's been
running a fever and vomiting occasionally--just pitiful. Her doctor said
it's a virus that should run its course within 4 to seven days. In the
meantime, my sunshine has turned into a rainy day.

I hope you feel better very soon, little princess!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Big Girl Bed Update


Cora has been sleeping in her big girl bed for about three weeks now, I think. So far, she's done farely well, but has fallen out a few times. At bedtime, I've been putting a pillow beside her in hopes of it helping keep her in bed. But, she's rolled and fortunately, the pillow has fallen so that she lands on it when she hits the floor. We are checking into a bed rail this week. She hasn't been hurt any time that she's fallen out of bed, but it breaks my heart to hear the thump and cry when it happens. (She's managed to stay safely put during nap, only falls out at night.) If anyone knows any other ideas besides the bed rails, please pass them on to us.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Unexpected Results on Baby Names

WOW!! A little surprised at all the comments here. Thanks for all the suggestions! Several of the names you've mentioned have been my favorites. In fact, I think everyone mentioned at least one, and I think Rebekah stole my list of names for that matter! Grant and Graham have been two I've really liked, also. To my brother, you have first dibs on David in keeping with tradition. Ann, don't you wish I'd tell you the middle name? NICE TRY!

One of you has hit the nail on the head in mentioning a name we've been considering off and on for quite a while. So, don't be surprised if that name shows up on here in a few weeks.

Suggestions still welcome!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Name That Baby Contest

We have 3 to 4 weeks left to go and don’t have a name yet for our little guy, so I’m instigating a “Name That Baby Contest”.  People, send in your suggestions.  Looking for something short, as well as easy to spell AND say.  No “Mapoopis”, “Ruddy”, or any other jokes on the last name.  Everett, I know this will be hard for you, but keep them to yourself, okay? 

 

Maybe I shouldn’t say CONTEST, just suggestions..  We’re about spent on names and have yet to agree on one.  Middle name, I THINK, we have down, but first name still needed.  Whoever is thinking “Mathusula” should also keep that to themselves. 

 

Okay, bring’em on!

Good results

We are thanking God today for good results at the doctor’s office.  We met with the high-risk doctor today and he did another ultrasound.  While the ventrical hasn’t decreased it’s size, it hasn’t increased either.  Today we were told that this baby is basically just a big boy and is measuring just above normal.  Doctor seemed very comfortable with the baby’s health and size and told us he didn’t feel we needed to continue our visits with them anymore.  However, since there are still 3 to 4 weeks before baby is due, he said we could have one more visit just for safety’s sake.  So, last week of July will be our hopefully final visit with them. 

In the meantime, baby boy--who HONESTLY has yet to be named this time, people!—is weighing in at 6 pounds today.  We may have a 9 or 10 pounder this time.  And if that’s the case, I will be thankful for another c-section!

 

Thanks for all of your prayers for our baby.  We love you all!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fourth of July Fun

I'd say Cora definitely enjoyed the fourth of July---doesn't take much to
entertain a toddler on this day. We grilled out with YaYa and had
watermelon for dessert. The weather was great, so Cora took a dip in her
pool after the watermelon "fest". People were already setting off
firecrackers around here at 5, so Cora enjoyed listening to and imitating
the "pop-pops!"

After a quick "almost-visit" to see PawPaw (Someone opened the doors to the
ICU while Cora was in the hallway and she took a mad dash in to find her
PawPaw...YaYa or Daddy caught her before she could get very far), we drove
home and watched fireworks on the way. More pop-pops with lots of color and
lights...a perfect way to end an almost 2-year-old's day.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Houston, we have lift off!

She did it!! Cora slept all night in her big-girl bed! Way to go,Cora!!

 

Last night, I checked on her when I went to bed.  She had turned herself sideways, feet pointing toward the floor if she were to fall out.  I turned her back to the right position and put a pillow beside her.  She made it all night long!! Not only was the bed a success, she also had a dry diaper all night and did potty first thing this morning.  (m&m’s for breakfast, oh boy!)

 

Our baby is not a baby anymore, a bittersweet feeling. 

Cora, we’re so proud of you!  Keep up the good work, Big Girl!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Big-girl bed

I don’t know if I’m ready for this or not, but little miss is sleeping in her big-girl bed tonight. We started the transition about two weeks ago—just having her sleep in it for naps. She’s done well and has yet to fall out—PRAISE GOD! We attempted to get her to sleep in it for the night awhile back, but she showed us she wasn’t ready for that by crying and running over to her crib, trying to climb in. So, we let that go. This past week we have stayed with Geron’s mom every night, so Cora has been sleeping in a pack-n-play. During the day, we’ve come home for naps, which Cora has taken in the big bed. And last night, we stayed at home so we could be on time for church in the morning—Cora slept in her crib.

Tonight, when it was time for bed, we told Cora to go to her room. I was all set for one of us to pick her up, say her prayers with her and lay her in her crib. Instead, she beat us to her room and climbed up into her big-girl bed. Geron sat down and said her prayer with her, then we did “Shushar”(sugars), told her goodnight and that we love her, left the room and shut the door. Crying—about 1 or 2 minutes worth—ensued. I stood outside her door and waited for the pitter patter of little feet to come running to the door and little hands to try to yank the doorknob off the door and a little mouth to start screaming…Instead, I heard talking… “Zoe…Pillar…” (Zoe, from Sesame Street, and Pillar, a stuffed caterpillar, are Cora’s “best pals” at night time. Those and her “Blantie”(Blankie). After a bit of talking, there was silence except for her lullabies playing in the background.

When we go to bed in a while, I will open her door and see if she’s actually stayed in her bed or made a cot for herself on the floor. Keep your fingers crossed, and if she’s in bed, pray that she doesn’t fall out.

I'll let you know how things went in the morning. I'm not ready for this, people!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sleep Talking

For eight years now, Geron has shared numerous stories with me of things I’ve told him in my sleep.  He learned early on how to tell if I was asleep by asking me specific questions.  One of his favorite stories to tell is of asking me when my birthday was—while sleeping. 
“Lydia, are you awake?”
“Huh?”
“Lydia, are you awake?”
(groggily) “Yeah?”

“When’s your birthday?”
“March”

(so far so good)
“What day?”
“Wednesday!”

“Go back to sleep”

 

Another time, he was leaving for work in the morning and I was still in bed. 

“Bye, honey, I’m leaving for work, “ said Geron.

“Bye” I respond, half asleep.
(to make sure I know he’s leaving)  “Lydia, I’m going to work now.  Are you going to be alright?”
“Yeah.  Bye, I love you….Donut”

“Lydia, do you know what you just said?”
“…yeah, I just said ‘Donut’ but I don’t know why.”

 

So all of this to just say that the past two days, I’ve talked in my sleep again.  Two nights ago it was (In a mommy tone)  “Cora, this is baby brother!”  “Look, it’s baby brother.”  “Don’t kick baby brother.”

 

And today I found out that I’m not the only one who talks in her sleep.  Last night, we spent the night with Geron’s mom.  She has two dogs I’ve mentioned in previous posts…Sugarbear and Tucker.  Cora loved getting playtime in with them last night and this morning.  This afternoon, I was on my way to the store with Cora buckled safely into her carseat in the back of the van.  I thought she was awake and turned around and asked her what song she wanted to sing.  She kicked her head back, eyes closed and said “Tutter!”  (Tucker) and then her head flopped back down and she mumbled “Shuhbeahhh”.  Too precious.  What are some fun questions to ask a toddler the answer to while they’re sleeping?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thank You Jesus

I saw dad this morning and he is doing well. He still is on the respirator, but they expect him to come off of it any time now. Surgery went excellent and he is being cared for very well in the surgical cardiac intensive care at Erlanger hopspital. We get to see Him again at 4:00.

We just got back the results of our preliminary amnio screening for the baby boy on the way. This test looks for the most popular chromosomal problems like downs syndrome and hydrocephalus.
This test is over 90% accurate and is telling us He is a "Normal Boy"


It will take 7-10 days to know definitively when more tests come back in, but we are praising God.

We have really felt your prayers over the couple of days and I'm so thankful to be a part of such a community of believers that loves and knows us and have lifted us in prayer to the throne of God this week. I rarely listen to christian radio, but early this morning when I got in the car to leave my mother's house, the first thing i heard on the radio was this:

Psalm 73:26-28

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.

But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.

Putting a name with a face

Just in case you're wondering, this is Cora's precious PawPaw for who
you've all been praying. PawPaw sure does love his girl!! And his
boy...when we saw him yesterday after his heart cath, the first thing he
said to Patsy and then to me was "How's the baby?" Thank you, Jesus, for
touching PawPaw and keeping him here longer.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Good News

The doctors just reported they got Preston off the heart and lung machine and got him closed up.  They’re taking him to recovery and then back to ICU.  For lack of a better word, the surgery went pretty much according to routine.  WE know, however, that The Lord worked a miracle here.  God is good all the time. 

Surgery Update

Geron just called and said the doctors were about to take Preston off the heart and lung machine.  This is the machine that keeps the heart working during the surgery.  Once they get him off the machine, they will begin to close him up.  It’s fascinating how quickly the surgery actually took place.  They didn’t begin until about 7:30 and it was 10:15 when Geron called.  He and Patsy are staying at the hospital tonight until they can see Preston. 

It’s difficult for anyone to stand by and watch their loved one go through a surgery like this, but today was especially difficult for Patsy because this is their anniversary.  Please remember her in a special way in prayer tonight. 

 

We love you and thank you all again.

 

Lydia

Preston's Surgery

Preston’s surgery was delayed today.  They started at 6:30 instead of 1.  His surgeon had an emergency with another patient at a different hospital.  Currently, it is 8 o’clock here and I haven’t heard word from Geron yet of any doctor’s reports. 

 

Geron has been at the hospital all day with his mom and several friends and family.  My mom came down today to help with Cora over the next couple of days, and we took Cora to the hospital to visit with her YaYa (Patsy).  Cora’s visit really seemed to do everyone, especially Patsy and Geron, a lot of good.  They had their own private waiting room, so Cora showed off quite a bit for everyone.  Singing songs, making animal sounds, counting, and just cutting up like her daddy.  Not only did it do those at the hospital good, I think Cora really needed that time with her daddy and YaYa, too.  It’s been kind of hard on her staying home with me all day—advice on entertaining your toddler would be very welcome here. 

 

My phone battery died awhile ago, so it will be a bit before I know more.  Again, thank you all for your prayers, encouragement, calls, emails, everything that you’re doing for us.  Our cup runneth over.

Update on Preston

Once again, we are so thankful for each of you and your prayer support on behalf of Geron’s dad. It is 2p.m. our time and Preston has been taken in for prep for surgery. His surgery will begin at 3. If I haven’t informed you already, he is having quadruple bypass surgery. Dr.McCoy, his cardiologist, said Preston is a blessed man to even be alive at this point. We agree.

Geron has been staying at the hospital with his mom the past two days—at night he’s been home. We’ve been so thankful for all the visits, calls, flowers, and most importantly prayers that have been lifted up for Preston. Please keep praying. We feel it!! The Lord has given us His peace that transcends all understanding.

Preston’s surgery is scheduled to last at least 4 hours. Doctors will be updating the family regularly as they wait and I will do my best to keep you all informed of what is going on and how you can pray.

As for Cora and I , we are hanging in there while Daddy is at the hospital. Having the amnio yesterday, I wasn’t allowed to lift Cora or participate in anything very active for 24 hours. We have been blessed to have such wonderful help from our church family here in Chattanooga. Last night, we had a visit from our Pastor, Matt, to pray with us and offer encouragement. He and his family have been such an amazing gift to our church! Following, but with, him came our good friend, Carol, to sit with Cora and I until Geron could make it home. Carol read books and sang songs with Cora, gave her a bath, and put her to bed for me. And while the physical help was much appreciated, I was most thankful for her talking to me about her husband’s heart surgery and putting my mind at ease about what was going on. Thank you, Carol! Anna has such a wonderful Nanna!! Geron arrived home about 10:30 last night and, I think, he was able to get a full night’s sleep. If he wasn’t, he certainly didn’t let me know it. God has given him tremendous strength right now. Please continue to pray for him to rest in the Lord through this. This morning, our good friend and church secretary, “Aunt Becky”, came over and played with and cared for Cora and me. And again, while I was thankful for the lifting and picking up after Cora, I was more appreciative of her encouragement and listening ear. Becky, you and Tom have been a constant blessing to our family. Thank you. Please forgive me for what seems like an awards speech, but I must also mention our friend Samantha who was able to be there at the last minute for us yesterday to care for Cora during our doctor’s appointment and visit to the hospital. Cora was a very sick little girl with a middle ear infection, and Samantha, just took her and loved on her all day for us. She even endured some vomiting from Cora—that is love, people!!



We are so thankful that God has lead us to such a loving and giving church. We are thankful for the friends we’ve made throughout our lives who have continued to stand by us and be prayer partners with us from near and far. We are thankful for families who have raised us to trust the Lord in all circumstances and be there for us when we need them. We are thankful for a Heavenly Father who sees us, hears us, and intervenes, working out His good plan in our lives. We are blessed.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Another prayer request for the baby and Preston

Family and Friends,

Many of you are aware that Geron’s dad has had a heart attack.  I wanted to update you on his situation first.  He was admitted to the hospital yesterday and had several tests run.  Today, after a heart-cath, his doctor determined that he would need to have quadruple bypass surgery.  His doctor, Dr.McCoy, is a very kind Christian man and we are so thankful that God chose to use him in our situation.  Dr.McCoy told us it is a miracle that Preston is even alive, that he is blessed.  He will be having the surgery either tonight or in the morning.  Please continue to keep him, Patsy, Sean and Geron in your prayers through this time. 

 

While this has been going on, we have also encountered a potential health problem with our baby boy.  I had a routine ultrasound yesterday and the technician noticed that one of the ventricals in the baby’s brain was dilated a bit.  My doctor referred me to a high-risk doctor to have it checked out.  We had the appointment today and the doctor noticed the same swelling.  He recommended an amniocentesis and we had it right away.  We should be getting test results on Friday of this week and will meet with the doctor again next Wednesday to discuss what the next steps are to be taken, if needed. 

What does this mean?  The high-risk doctor said the swelling could just be a boy-thing, apparently it appears more often in boys and can often pan out to nothing.  However, he also said it could be a sign of a chromosomal disorder such as down syndrome.  Another possibility could be an infection—for example, if I’d been sick at some point during the pregnancy, the baby could have contracted what I had and had a more severe reaction than I did.  We just don’t know, so the amniocentesis is going to help reveal a better idea of what is going on.  If the first test results we receive back, hopefully this Friday, indicate that things are normal, then there is a 90% chance that all other results will be normal.  We are praying for this to be the case. 

 

Please keep our family in your prayers during this time.  Amidst it all, Cora has an ear infection and needs special prayer, as well.  While each need healing, pray also for peace and comfort for Geron, his mom(patsy), his brother(sean) and Preston’s mother.  Pray especially for Geron as it seems he is being bombarded with so much right now.  I know we serve a good and loving Heavenly Father who is able to meet all our needs and bring miraculous healing.  We are hopeful and are trusting Him in all circumstances.  Thank you for your prayers… we appreciate all the calls and emails we’ve received so far.  We are very encouraged and thankful for all of you.  We love you.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Good Morning Wake Up Call

We were awakened this morning by our lovely daughter who was yelling and talking to herself in her crib. We’ve grown accustomed to babble and jibber jabber with our names thrown in here and there, but this morning, Cora had a specific call. She was yelling “Shuh-bear! Shuh-bear!” For those of you who aren’t familiar, this is “Sugarbear”, Geron’s parents’ sharpei dog. Between calls for Sugarbear, we also heard “Tut Tut!”, which is Tucker, their Shih tzu. And of course, “YaYa”—which is what she calls Geron’s mother. I guess she was just dreaming about being at YaYa’s house. With all the yelling in the a.m., I was wishing she WAS at YaYa’s house.


The pic above is Cora and Tucker last August. I don't think we have one of her and Sugarbear.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Whoop! Whoop!

Today we had our first big splash in the potty!!   Cora woke up dry after her nap, so I rushed her to the potty and sat her down on it.  We read her cow book 2 times and then Geron and I switched out.  (me back to the kitchen to finish dinner and him to finish potty).  As soon as I got to the kitchen Geron yelled “Mommy, Cora did potty!”  I ran to the bathroom, neglecting the green beans burning on the stove top, and saw Cora’s first potty peepee.  I was so proud!! 

 

We are keeping M&Ms in the bathroom for her reward, so we said “Cora, you get candy!”  She looked at us as if to say “What’s the big deal, people?  I did it on the dining room floor yesterday, in front of company, mind you, and you didn’t give me any candy then.”  Geron gave her 5 M&Ms and then he and I continued to brag on her and tell her how proud we were of her all through dinner. (a little potty talk at the table isn’t always considered bad manners.)  Hopefully, she’ll get the point and do it more often.

 

Way to go potty, Cora!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hi, Dawdy!

We took Cora to a church softball game last night and she fell in love with someone's doggy. I think it was a golden retriever, maybe a year or two old. He was a very friendly dog and played well with Cora. The owner was playing in the game and had attached the dog's leash to the fence near the bleachers. So, Cora and the dog played quite a bit together.

At the end of one of the innings, the owner came over and held a water bottle to the dog's mouth for it to get a drink. Cora watched in fascination. When the game resumed, we saw Cora walking towards the bench where all the players' belongings were. I assumed she was going to go play with the other youngsters who were having a time in the dirt nearby. Instead, she picked up someone's water bottle and started heading towards the dog, holding out the bottle and wearing a look on her face of intense purpose. Geron caught her before she made it to the dog, but we knew exactly what she was doing. She wouldn't have accomplished her task, however, because the lid was screwed on the bottle and as far as I know, she hasn't figured out how to undo that yet.

When we left the game, lots of people were yelling goodbyes to Cora. She waved and blew a kiss here and there. But as we rolled the little red wagon toting cute baby girl out of the park, the only sound to be heard from the wagon was 'Bye bye dawdy! Bye dawdy! Bye Bye Dawdy!" (somebody's dog was dearly loved and was going to be sadly missed.)

Revelation

 These past couple of days have been an emotional rollercoaster ride for me.  Geron and I have been transforming the nursery from a baby girl’s room, into a toddler girl and baby boy’s room.  The high points have been seeing the new furniture put together (especially Cora’s “big girl bed”)and seeing Cora climb up onto it and giggle and say “Bid duh bed!”  While picking out bedding was a bit of a chore, we finally were able to settle on something we knew Cora would love—it’s covered with ho’s. (That’s horses.) 

 

Of course, with any good roller coaster ride, there are major corkscrew twists and flips that just make you lose your lunch, or at least they do that to me.  In relation to the transformation, I’m referring to packing up Cora’s old clothes and giving them away.  Geron suggested it would be a good idea to hang on to just 5 things that hold a special memory—I’m a packrat, so this was a major task for me.  As I sorted through boxes, I was reminded of cuddling Cora in the hospital when she was so tiny and new.  And then, bringing her home and introducing her to her first big girl bed, her crib.  It looked sooo large in comparison to now.  We could lay her crossways in the crib and it seemed there was still a foot of space left.  Now we lay her crossways and her feet stick out about a foot!  Her baby dedication outfit no doubt was a keeper.  And then came Christmas.  There were so MANY little dresses and outfits that I loved putting on her.  I took her outfit from her first picture with Santa in and out of the box who knows how many times! Eventually, I got to Easter and had another 100 dresses, it seemed, to go through.  It’s when I started going through these dresses that I lost it.  I cried and cried and cried.  I knew I wasn’t going to have another little girl who would be able to wear these beautiful dresses.  And that’s when Revelation struck. 

 

It wasn’t so much that I wanted another little girl to wear these dresses.  I wanted Cora to be a baby again.  I wanted to hang on to her being little and not let her grow up.  I thought about how much I enjoyed each stage of her being a baby and of who she is now.  Would I trade my little girl to have my baby girl back?  And I realized there was NO WAY I would ever do that or want to do that again.  Parents of teenagers may tell me otherwise, but right now, I have the most enjoyable daughter and each new phase of her life is so exciting to me.  I began thinking of the look on Cora’s face when she sees me pick her up from day care and how she comes running with her arms wide out saying “Mommy! Mommy!”  I remember her first Christmas program and how she stole the show dancing and grinning and celebrating.  And her first day care program recently where she again stole the show stomping her feet to “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and raising her knees to her shoulders!  I won’t trade those moments for anything.  Her excitement over the new “Bid duh bed” with the “balls” (finials) and “ho’s” filled me with such happiness.  And recently she has learned to say “I love you” (I lud dyou)—You long to hear “mama”, you long to hear “dada”, but “I love you” . I haven’t discovered anything else like it, yet. 

 

So, yes, it’s been hard parting with the material things of Cora’s that bring back so many memories, but I have pictures, and I have memories, and most importantly, I have my Cora.  I love you just the way you are, my sweet girl.  Thanks for filling our lives with such great joy!