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). 




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


Not the water park at Kings Island-


One question…


At what point do baby boys stop peeing on you?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


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


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


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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


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.