The Crazy Cochran's Blog

Farewell July 16, 2011

Filed under: Our Life — crazycochrans @ 11:39 pm

Dear 1st home,

Tomorrow is the last day I will walk through your front door.  While I am thrilled to be moving into a house that better suits our family’s current needs, it will be a bittersweet to say farewell to my first home (not funded by my parents).  The last 8 years have been wonderful, and there are so many things about you that I will never forget:

  1. I will never forget finding you when I was just 22 years old and knowing you were perfect for me.  You were everything I was looking for at that time, and I could not contain my excitement when I moved my first piece of furniture in.
  2. I will never forget the terror I felt when for the first time, I owed somebody more than $10.  I will admit I felt sick when I signed the contract to keep you and knew I was becoming an adult (not a college girl that would sell a textbook to buy a new shirt or call my dad for money, because somehow I was out before the end of the month). 
  3. I will never forget how much fun I had getting dressed with my bridesmaids in the master bathroom to prepare to marry my best friend.
  4. I will never forget how fearful I was when I was all alone at home when Dustin first started traveling for work (and I thank you for keeping the bogeymen out when I was alone).
  5. I will never forget announcing to Dustin in the kitchen that we were finally pregnant for the first time (after almost a year of trying).
  6. I will never forget announcing to Dustin over the phone in our bedroom that we were expecting our second baby (much to my surprise).
  7. I will never forget how Type-A you made me become as I obsessively cleaned you and renovated you, so that you would be in perfect condition.
  8. I will never forget the feelings I experienced when we walked through your front door with both Allyson and Anna Kate (that feeling might be similar to the terror I experienced when I took on a large amount of debt).
  9. I will never forget the numerous nights that our best friends have spent hanging out with us on your back deck.
  10. I will never forget the amount of love and happiness I have felt over the last 8 years inside your walls. 

I will probably shed a tear or two as we take one last look around and then walk our your front door one last time, but we will never forget you.  We have made wonderful memories inside your walls and we aren’t leaving a single one of those behind.  I hope you bring as much joy to the new owners as you did to us.  Farewell my first adult decision…it’s time to start the next chapter.

 

 

Telephones and Tie Die July 6, 2011

Filed under: Our Life — crazycochrans @ 3:23 pm

I have come to the conclusion that there are people out there that rely on me to make them feel good about their own parenting skills, as it is always comforting to know there is someone out there floundering more at parenthood than yourself.  That is the only justification I have come up with the explain why anyone would care that I have (temporarily) stopped blogging.  But nonetheless, I appreciate and love my friends and family that have asked what the crazy Cochran’s have been up to.  I didn’t make a conscious decision to stop blogging, it just happened in the midst of the craziness that has overcome our lives.  Between a new baby that has been slow to grow (I could write 15 posts about the thoughts that have overcome me regarding her size) and the process of packing up 8 years of my life into Home Depot boxes to move 10 miles down the road, I simply have not had an intelligent thought in about 3 months.

Since there are people out there relying on me to do something goofy, it is my civic duty to share this Allyson story.  Right now, this part of the story will seem irrelevant, but I am wearing a tie die shirt.  It has been one of those days where when I returned from the gym, I simply didn’t feel the need to shower, so I am still wearing my sweaty gym shirt.  Now, remember what I am wearing at the end of this story. 

With the move only 2 weeks away, I have started calling utility companies to shut off service here and start it there.  While this seems like a simple task, I have yet to make it off the phone with a single utility company in less than 15 minutes.  On my to-do list today, I had written down that I needed to call the Cobb County Water Services and the bank.  I must have had a moment where I thought I was superman, and I decided to allow Allyson to paint while I changed our address with the bank and simultaneously fed Anna Kate.  Since the brain can only process 5-8 bits of information at one time, Allyson wasn’t even on my radar.  As to be expected, I was on the phone with the bank for 17 minutes.  When I hung up with them, I realized Allyson was being very quiet, so I went in the playroom to check on her.  When I walked in, she had her back to me, and she looked sweetly innocent in here white cotton dress and big blue bow.  When she heard my voice, she turned around in that precious white dress, looked up at me with a proud smile, and said “Look Mommy!  We match!!!”

Please refer to the previous paragraph if you have forgotten what I was wearing.

 

 

A Dose of Perspective on Mother’s Day May 8, 2011

Filed under: Our Life — crazycochrans @ 9:20 pm

My very first Mother’s Day as a mother, I was still naive, and I believed that babies understood that it was a special day for moms and behaved as a perfect child should (I’ve yet to figure out what that even is).  Since then, I have learned that babies have no concept of what day it is, and therefore, their behavior remains unchanged, even on holidays that celebrate me.  This year, as one would expect, that is exactly what happened. 

The day began at 4:00 am with Anna Kate’s early morning feeding.  Thankfully, we have Anna Kate’s reflux under control (more or less), so she doesn’t throw up very often anymore.  However, this morning, the poor baby girl threw up EVERYWHERE shortly after I fed her, which meant that I was up washing all of our bedding at 4:00 in the morning.  Because our bedding was all in the wash, breakfast in bed was out of the question. 

Once I had the bed put back together again, I wasn’t able to crawl back into it, because it was then time to get ready for church.  Usually, I can get ready from start to finish in 45 minutes, but now, it takes every bit of 2 hours.  Between stopping to feed Anna Kate, trying on 5-7 outfits (I am in that horrible stage where I am too thin for my maternity clothes but still too fat for my regular clothes, so finding anything to wear is a real challenge), and dealing with Allyson, I am lucky if I arrive anywhere on time.  Because this morning was no different, I ended up eating refrigerator cold grits and all of the coffee was gone. 

In case all of that hadn’t stressed me out enough, Allyson decided to make a scene when we dropped her off at Sunday School, which is VERY rare, because she loves church and her friends at church, and she even hit sweet Mr. Vince when he took her from us.  I had to do the walk of shame down the nursery hall, as I was “that mom.”  Clearly, by 11:00, I thought I was having the worst Mother’s Day ever! 

But as he always does, the Lord slapped me with a huge dose or perspective.  While my mom was here from Birmingham this weekend, she shared many stories with us of families whose lives were torn apart by the tornadoes two weeks ago.  One story in particular, made me feel like a horrible human being for feeling sorry for myself that I felt less than celebrated on Mother’s Day.  After hearing that the tornadoes were headed her way, a particular mom in Birmingham took shelter and laid over her brand new, 6-week old baby to protect her.  During the devastation of the tornadoes, the selfless mother lost her life and her husband was left with absolutely nothing but his new baby girl.  This story has shaken me to my core, as her baby girl was born the same week as my Anna Kate.  I couldn’t help but look at my sweet baby and feel the devastation for that mom who will never see her baby girl do any of her “firsts” and for the dad who will struggle daily on his own (he didn’t even have enough money to bury his wife).  How could I be so selfish about my less-than-adequate Mother’s Day when there are now children without mothers and mothers without children.  So today has ended up being a wonderful Mother’s Day, because I have my family, and that is more than enough for me!

 

I stand proudly on the crazy mom ledge April 17, 2011

Filed under: Our Life — crazycochrans @ 8:47 pm

I said on more than one occasion that I would be way more laid back with Anna Kate than I was with Allyson, because I know what I am doing now.  Afterall, I am an old pro at this mom business now.  I just knew that my intuition would be 10 times stronger and more accurate the second time around.  Somehow, I have a feeling that my pediatrician would be the first to call my a liar on the afore-mentioned statements.  While it is true that I don’t fear “breaking” her like I feared with Allyson, my plethora of “mom” experience has not kept me from harassing our pediatrician on what has been a weekly basis.

While at the hospital, we learned that Anna Kate was Coombs positive, which meant she was at risk of developing jaundice.  Because of that, we all watched her very closely to see if she was starting to become yellow.  Shortly after they released us from the hospital, I became convinced that Anna Kate had not had enough wet diapers, and I called the doctor at home (on a Sunday nonetheless) to express my paranoia.  The doctor talked me down from the crazy mom ledge, and we realized that in my worry I had overlooked drinking anything myself, which was leading to a lower supply of food for Anna Kate, which led to fewer wet diapers.  In the end, she never developed jaundice, and she got a clean bill of health at her 2 day well check visit.

Fast forward one week, and you will find me back at the pediatricians office.  Dustin and I noticed a dark red spot on Anna Kate’s back within the first week we had her at home.  It did not look like anything we had ever seen before, so I did what I do best…I asked the pediatrician.   Once again, he talked me down from the crazy mom ledge and told me it was simply a hemangioma, which is just a nodule of extra blood vessels in the skin that will completely disappear by the time she is 10 (which is thankfully prior to the teenage years in which every single tiny mark brings a girl’s self-esteem into question). 

If you keep fast forwarding to the very next week, guess where you will find me…back at the pediatrician.  Just after her two-week well check, Anna Kate began to show every symptom of reflux.  Now this did not surprise me (or really even worry me), as I have such severe reflux that I have had a Nissen Flundoplication (which is a big word to say they tied my stomach up around my esophagus) and still require medication.  However, it got to the point that I considered wearing a poncho every time I fed her, because I knew I would end up wearing a lot of what she had just eaten, so I scheduled an appointment.  Luckily for me (which is selfish to say), the pediatrician did not give me that “you poor worried mom” look, because he confirmed that I was right to be worried.  Anna Kate was not gaining any weight, so they put her on medicine to help with the reflux.  With the combination of the medicine and a few tips I learned from some fabulous nurses on moms that happen to be my Facebook friends, we have had 3 throw-up free days, and I think she actually looks like she is getting bigger!

So if you have wondered where I have been for the last month or why I have not been blogging, it is because my pediatrician’s office does not offer free wi-fi, and that is where I have been living.  So am I more calm the second time around…not even a little bit.  Do I feel still feel silly every time I overreact…of course.  Will that change my behavior even a little bit…not one bit!  My job is to take care of these little girls, and that is what I intend to do.  Even if it means Blue Cross Blue Shield curses every time they see my name on a claim, and even if our pediatrician could retire early on my family alone, I will continue to run and ask questions every time I am unsure of something, because I, after all, did not go to medical school!

 

A Lot Has Changed March 25, 2011

Filed under: Our Life — crazycochrans @ 9:04 pm

Apparently, I am a very bad blogger.  I just realized that my last post was on March 6th, and the post depicted everything we were doing to prepare the way for Anna Kate’s arrival.  In the 19 days since my last post, a great deal has happened.  First of all, my induction was rescheduled 3 times, because the doctor never thought I was “ready.”  The final time it was postponed, I literally went out to my car and sobbed, because I was so over being pregnant.  I called my mom and explained to her between gasps that I couldn’t do it anymore.  Fortunately, I could, and the Lord’s plan was better than mine all along (as it always is). 

 Before I could make it to the final induction date, Anna Kate decided to come on her own in what might be the easiest labor story of all time.  The only minor glitch in the whole event happened right after I received the epidural and my blood pressure bottomed out, but my nurse was right on top of it, and gave me an injection of ephedra before anything happened as a result of my BP.  From beginning to end, the care we received at the hospital was beyond any expectations I had, and I have nothing but wonderful things to say of my doctors and nurses that took care of us. 

We were fortunate enough to share that day with our parents and close friends.  In addition to that, my mom, who continues to sacrifice everything for her children (even though the twins are 26 and I am almost 30) stayed longer to help us give Allyson the extra attention she needed during the time of transition and to be my sounding board as I sat in my bathroom overwhelmed, hormonally imbalanced, and sleep deprived.  Unfortunately, everyone’s life did have to get back to normal and by Wednesday I found myself at home alone with 2 children. 

The first two days, my primary goal was to figure out how I could shower without fear of Allyson “helping” too much with Anna Kate.  I knew I could wait until Allyson was taking a nap, but I had other things I wanted to accomplish during that time, so I just put the girls directly in front of the shower and watched them like a hawk.  While I normally love my privacy, I have a feeling that is gone for a while (if not forever).  Today, I had a loftier goal.  I needed to leave the house to run to King’s and back to the hospital, and I had to do it with both girls in tow.  We made it in and out of Kings without much trauma, but the hospital was another story.  While we did make it in successfully, we left with both Allyson and Anna Kate crying, and I was seriously considering joining them (but didn’t).  Fortunately, we all made it home in one piece and were able to enjoy a quiet evening at home as a family.  It wasn’t until we put Allyson to bed tonight that I really took the time to count my blessings.  At bedtime, we all piled into Ally’s bed and read stories.  Then, Allyson asked to hold Anna Kate.  When we handed her over to Ally (don’t worry – we were still holding Anna Kate’s head), Ally started singing “So be careful little eyes what you see” to Anna Kate.  My heart continued to melt as Ally kissed her baby sister, gave her a hug, and told Dustin and I that she loved us very much.  So the longest stretch of sleep I get is about 2.5 hours, and I am not very productive during the day, and leaving the house is an unsurmountable feat, but I have two perfect children that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the whole world.

 

It’s Almost Time! March 6, 2011

Filed under: Our Life — crazycochrans @ 8:11 pm

My mom hates ultrasound pictures, so I have not posted any (until now 🙂

I am exhausted and the sleepless nights have not even started yet (unless you count the fact that I can’t get comfortable and Dustin snores…loudly!).  I would like to find the one person, that is not on bed rest, that is actually able to REST in the days leading up to a new baby’s arrival.  I am told almost daily that I should be resting now while I can.  While I can?  Between my mile long to-do lists and a very busy 2-year old, I would like for someone to show me where this opportunity to rest is in my life, because I haven’t found it.  But don’t misunderstand this to be a complaint, because it honestly is not.  I thrive on being busy, and have enjoyed all of the little jobs that I have had to complete to prepare the way for Anna Kate to join our family.  In the past couple of months, we have completed the following:

  1. In true Mission Impossible style, we located all of the baby items we used with Ally that could be used again.  This meant remembering to whom we had loaned items, digging through closets, under beds, and in the garage, and organizing and reorganizing the storage unit. 
  2. I have done more laundry this month than I did this past year.  After going through ALL of Ally’s clothes from birth through six months to decide what could be considered seasonably appropriate, I then washed EVERYTHING and organized the drawers and nursery closet with all of the clothes.  This process made me realize that either my mom or I need a shopping intervention, as I have never seen so many baby girl clothes in my life. 
  3. We officially moved Ally out of the nursery and into her own big girl room.  Our original plan was to leave the nursery exactly as it was, since another little girl would be occupying the space, but in the end, I felt guilty because Anna Kate will spend her whole life inheriting Ally’s second-hand items, and we redecorated the nursery.
  4. We have gone on a battery scavenger hunt.  If you are looking for something to buy stock in this week, go for a company that does rechargeable batteries, as I am sure Dustin and I alone will be the cause of Duracel reaching their 1st quarter numbers.  We went through every room in our house and made a list of batteries we would need to be fully operating when we bring Anna Kate home.  I think our final tally involved fifty-something batteries (and of course most of those are Cs and Ds, which cost more than the items they are giving power to).
  5. I have cleaned, cleaned, and cleaned again.  In fact, if Anna Kate does not arrive this week, Dustin and Ally will need to hide, because they are only things left in this house that I have not bleached.
  6. I have written about half of the thank-you notes that I need to write.  While I appreciate nothing more than the generosity, love, and support that I have been shown by all of the wonderful people in my life, I DETEST writing cards. This is not because I am ungrateful, but because I am left-handed, and there isn’t an ink that dries fast enough to avoid my smudges.
  7. I have had my final ultrasound.  Although we had to pay for it out-of-pocket thanks to all the great contributions Obama has made to my health insurance (I’ll get on that soap box another day), I could not go into the delivery room uncertain of whether the she was tangled up in the chord (as Ally was) or that she was actually a he.  Almost daily, someone tells me I have to be carrying a boy, so I began to panic.  If Anna Kate were to come out a boy on D-day, they would have to take me directly from L and D to the Psych ward.  I am too much of a planner for a curve ball like that.  My nursery is pink, the closet is full of pink, and a boy named Anna Kate would be made fun of.  Fortunately, the latest ultrasound more than confirmed that she truly is a girl!  And from what we have been told, there will be no need for a NICU team to be waiting in the room like there was with my sweet Ally.

So now that everything has been located, cleaned, and charged, we are physically ready for this precious blessing to arrive.  We find out Wednesday morning when she will arrive (assuming she waits until the scheduled time).  Now we just have to figure out if we are mentally ready for the “joys” of a newborn and whether or not Allyson is ready for her whole life to change with the introduction of her baby sister.

 

The Center of our World February 13, 2011

Filed under: Our Life — crazycochrans @ 4:54 pm

For the last two years, Ally has been the sun in our solar system.  She has played such a significant role in this family, that we have allowed her to determine our orbits (and along the way, we have learned that the little ball of fire needs a lot of discipline).  It is for this reason that when I found out I was pregnant again, I immediately began to worry about how Allyson would accept being removed from her throne.  She is not only our first child, but she is also the first grandchild on both mine and Dustin’s side of the family.  Needless to say, she has never lacked anything! 

12 days ago, my sister, Megan, welcomed her first son, John Russell, into the world.  Due to my own doctors’ appointments and various scheduling conflicts, we weren’t able to get to Huntsville until this past weekend.  I was very curious to see how Allyson would react to him, especially when Dustin and I were holding him or playing with him.   Because Ally can be quite the diva (yes, at 2), I expected her to be a little jealous, but that wasn’t the case at all.  Allyson was absolutely fascinated by the tiny little baby.  In fact, she was almost a little too curious.  He instantly became “her baby,” and the rest of us were not allowed to touch him, because she wanted him all to herself.  `What she didn’t want to recognize is that she is only 2, and there was no way we were going to allow her to have John without us around.  Whenever Megan took him to feed him, Ally would get very upset and say “No take my baby!!”  There were a few temper tantrums this weekend, but they always occurred because we had taken John away from her.  So now, I am not as concerned about the Big Green-Eyed Monster appearing, as I am by Ally being “too helpful.”  I guess we will see how it all works out in just a few weeks, as it is almost time for Anna Kate to join us!