Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sooo….I forgot my baby once

Sooo….I forgot my baby once. I did. In the hustle and bustle of getting out the door to get my 4 year old to preschool on time I forgot my baby. I had a habit of loading the baby into his carrier car seat and sitting him on the table by the door so he would be safe and I could get my 4yr old and 2yr old in the car in the garage. This particular morning must have been extra crazy because I was down the street getting ready to turn out of the neighborhood before I realized the baby was not in the car! Why am I telling everyone this now, you ask?!? Because I want to ask, does that fact make me a horrible monster… a bad parent? I am not asking because I actually need an answer to that question. I know the answer to that question. I know the answer without a single doubt in my mind. I am a good parent. Some days I am a really good parent! Am I perfect? VERY far from it!! I make mistakes all the time. It is only by the grace of God that I left my baby on my dining room table and not in a hot car. In the last several weeks, I have seen post after post about tragic deaths resulting from parents forgetting their baby in a hot car. And yes, it is horrific. It is painful to read. It is a nightmare in real life. But may I suggest the majority of the parents in these stories are also good parents. Good parents that love their babies with all of their heart. Parents that made a terrible mistake and will have to live with the consequences for the rest of their life. It seems, after reading comment after comment on these posts that I am somewhat in the minority with my thinking on this. I am shocked by the amount of people lashing out at these parents. Making comments such as “I could NEVER forget my precious baby”. “He/she is a monster”. “He/she should be left in a hot car to die just like that poor baby”. I get it. We are human. We have a need to place blame. And if you come across a case where someone says, “yep, I strapped my baby in and left them in the car because I wanted them to die” then by all means carry on with your comments. Punish them to the full extent of the law. But in the majority of these cases, that is not the way it happened. If we just have to find someone/thing to blame I would argue that we are living in a world that is moving so fast it is nearly impossible to keep up. We are all struggling to keep our heads above water. The pressures of work, the economy, personal financial stability. Constantly being bombarded with everyone’s opinions on how you raise your children, what kind of food you eat, how “green” you are. In this day of social media it is almost impossible to escape it. We all end up second guessing every decision we make. Our minds never turn off. They never get a break. And that, my friend, leads to nothing good. Am I saying that social media has to go? No. I would be kidding myself if I thought that were even a possibility at this point. And it is not all bad. Many good things come from it. We just need to find a balance. Quit using it as an outlet to attack already hurting people as in cases like these tragic deaths. Your hateful comments won’t bring these babies back. Your finger pointing and “I would never” declarations won’t keep this kind of thing from happening. What does help? People who share ideas that might help prevent these types of accidents. Like the one that says to take off your left shoe and put it in the back seat with the baby when you drive with your child. Or the one that suggests you tie a string from your seat belt to the car door when you have your baby in the back so that in order to get out of the car you have to untie the string and consequently, remember your child. I am not sure why I felt the need to write this blog. But it has been stirring in me for several days. I should probably just stay away from the comment sections of posts like these because I always leave the post disappointed in the human race and lack of compassion we have as a people. We can do better, friends. We can be better. We can act and react in love instead of judgment. We can come beside people and encourage them and build them up instead of tearing them down in their weakest moments.  Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29

Friday, February 18, 2011


12:15 am. Sound asleep (or as sound as a mom is able) in my bed. I awake to the grumbling growl of Miss Daisy. Followed by ferocious barks and scratching at the door. Daisy is an unusually quiet dog as far as barking goes. She was probably 3 years old before we even knew she could, in fact, bark. So, needless to say, i shot straight up out of bed while Tom lay, still peacefully in dreamland. He is harder to wake than the dead. I am not kidding. I decide that i will brave it by myself and go see what is causing all the commotion. So i tip-toe down the hall and into the living room where Daisy is getting ready to break through the french doors to get outside. I turn on the light and scan the backyard. Nothing. I tell Daisy she is crazy and get back into bed. A minute later the grumbling starts again. This time i decide Tom needs to investigate. So i push him out of bed and follow him into the living room. Again we see nothing. So Tom opens the door and Daisy tears out to the back fence which nearly meets its end as she plants both front feet on it running full speed. And then it is clear. Trying it's best to balance on a now very wobbly privacy fence and stay clear of the mad dog below is Mr. Opossum. Yuck. I was praying that the thing had good balance because if it actually fell and Daisy got a hold of it i am afraid we would have had to let her have it. Those things are not the cutest of creatures from across a yard and i definitely don't want an up close view. With the mystery solved i headed back to bed and listened as Tom tried to convince Miss Daisy to come back inside for the next 5 minutes.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Birthday Miracle

Yesterday was my birthday. I woke up yesterday morning just like every other morning...hungry for my bowl of Special K Chocolaty Delight Cereal. When i got to the kitchen i saw that Tom had already fixed the kids bowls of my chocolaty delicious cereal and they were sitting enjoying their breakfast. I reached for the box to pour myself a bowl and it was empty. EMPTY. On my BIRTHDAY. So, i began to think of what else i could possibly eat and came up with my all time favorite...chocolate pop-tarts. There is nothing quite like a toasted chocolate pop-tart and cold glass of milk. The only problem is, we don't buy pop-tarts. So i went to the one place i know keeps a parents house. Just so happens, they live across the street so i ventured out in the freezing cold in search of my beloved pop-tart. Now in the time it took me to think of pop-tarts and get across the street my mind was set. NOTHING else was going to do. I walk in and ask my dad if he has any pop-tarts and he says YES! I ask if he has any chocolate pop-tarts and sadly he crushed all my hopes and dreams. He only had brown sugar cinnamon and cherry. FOUR big boxes of brown sugar cinnamon and one small of cherry. How could this be happening to me on my birthday??? I decided that if i was going to get anything at all i was just going to have to settle for brown sugar cinnamon and reached in the box. I went over to the toaster opened my brown sugar cinnamon pop tart to toast it and that's when it happened. My birthday miracle. I pulled out of the package a CHOCOLATE pop-tart!! My very own birthday miracle!! They were the best chocolate pop-tarts i have ever eaten. Probably because they were miracle pop-tarts.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I Sit, I Wait

Today is a very big day in the Coogle house. Any minute now, Mr. FedEx man will ring my doorbell and deliver a shiny new cell phone for my Tom. This is a day that has been anticipated for months. Now, here in the Coogle house, we do things a bit differently. We don't just go to the store, play around with a phone or two, buy one and leave. No no. We (and by "we" i mean "he") research and read and research and read until "we" are sure "we" know all there is to know about all possible candidates for the next Coogle cell phone. It is a huge decision after all. You have to spend a whole year of your life with your choice. A year you say? Yes. A year. 2-year contracts are unacceptable in the Coogle house. That is much too much time to devote to one phone when, undoubtedly, next month something even cooler than starting your car from miles away or setting your DVR to record a show while you are sitting in church will be released. (Does anyone else find this just a tad over the top???) But that is what is happening so maybe i should just embrace it. Here goes...I would like all you makers of cell phones to make me a phone that will cook my dinner while i sit and sip lemonade in the hammock out back. please and thank you. When this happens, i will join "he" in researching and reading to find just the right one. Until then, i will be happy to be the designated "sit at home and wait for Mr. FedEx" person. I have the feeling the next few days will be somewhat lonely for me as my Tom has his bonding period with the new delivery so i am off now to find a new book to read to help pass the time.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Things You Need To Know..

You know how "they" say...babies don't come with a handbook?? Well, 6 1/2 years in to my parenting adventure i have decided that is a terrible injustice to parents everywhere. I realize that there is no way to make a handbook on every little thing you will deal with. However, i think there are a few things that should be shared with you before you ever leave the hospital with that brand new squishy bundle of joy. We experienced one such thing last night. Now this was not out first encounter with this horror they call croup, but it never really gets less scary. And according to all the websites and all the doctors it really isn't that big of a deal. One of those things that sounds and looks a lot worse than it actually is. And is fairly common in young children. For those of you who don't know what this "croup" stuff is, let me just share with you the good time that it is....

Your kid is just fine all day. Running. Playing. Laughing. You go through the same 400 stall tactics at bed time and finally all is quiet. You sit on the couch watching all your favorite tv shows before going to bed later than you probably should. But, you think, "the kids all sleep through the night now, it will be fine to stay up a little later tonight" So you finally get in bed and settle in to that just before sound sleep just after consciousness state and all of the sudden you hear it. A seal. Coming from your kids room. And from the sounds of it, this seal is very agitated. You jump up and run in the room where you find your child sitting up and terrified because they "can't breathe". And truly it does not sound like they can. Every breath in and out sounds like a harsh, raspy, whooping, gasping sound. Then they cough and it sounds just like a barking seal which is all fine and good coming from a seal but extremely disturbing coming from your child who seems to be struggling for each breath.

Let me pause here for a moment to take a poll. How many of you might find it useful to have just a little understanding of why your kid sounds like a seal has jumped down his throat in the midst of the episode? If you are like me, which i acknowledge the fact that i am quite....well lets just say "overly cautious"..., running to the computer to "google it" is not the first thing that comes to mind. My first thoughts are "get me an ambulance NOW my baby can't breathe!!!!!" Luckily, God saw fit to give me a more level-headed partner for this journey of parenthood and i don't actually call for an ambulance every single time we have what I would call a "medical emergency"!! (In my defense, i just want to get to a place where there are people who are actually trained to know how to fix whatever the problem is because i know that i have no idea)

Back to the story. We left off in our kids room wondering if and why they can't breathe. And something about a seal. So friends, if you have indeed heard of croup and the symptoms you know that it is okay to stay calm. You know that the appropriate action is to take your child straight to the bathroom and run the shower as hot as you can with the door shut so they can breathe in the steam while you try and calm them down as the crying is just making the symptoms worse. (pretty sure i just broke some kind of run-on sentence rule with that one) After several minutes in the steamy bathroom, breathing seems possible again for both your child and yourself. You may even take this opportunity to google 'croup' to refresh yourself on the facts. Now it is time for everyone to get back to bed. To one bed. Because you (and by "you" i mean "I") can't sleep in a separate room that is wayyyy (directly) across the hall. What if he needs me? So mom, dad, and squiggly wiggly little man get back in mom and dads bed for a night of something somewhat short of sleep. And then it is morning. All things seem better in the morning when your pediatricians office is open!

So fellow parents and parents to be. Since kids do in fact come with no handbook, i would highly recommend putting croup on your list of things to "google" before you actually encounter it. While i am sure my accounts of our encounter have been extremely insightful, i feel it necessary to clarify that i am no doctor. is one of my favorite websites for info on illnesses and medicines. Check it out...might save yourself a trip to the ER in the middle of the night!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thinking of having a baby??? Do this 11-Step Program First

This is a re-post of a friends re-post of a friend. I don't know who actually wrote it so i can't give credit. But, it gave me a good laugh so i thought i would share!!

Lesson 1

1. Go to the grocery store.

2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.

3. Go home.

4. Pick up the paper.

5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2

Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their...

1. Methods of discipline.

2. Lack of patience.

3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.

4. Allowing their children to run wild.

5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.

Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3

A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...

1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)

2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.

3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.

4. Set the alarm for 3AM.

5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.

6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.

7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.

8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.

9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)

Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4

Can you stand the mess children make? To find out...

1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.

2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.

3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.

4. Then rub them on the clean walls.

5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.

6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5

Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.

1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.

2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.

Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6

Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.

1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.

Leave it there.

2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.

3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.

4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7

Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8

1. Hollow out a melon.

2. Make a small hole in the side.

3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.

4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.

5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.

6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.

You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

Lesson 9

Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're thinking What's 'Noggin'?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 10

Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11

Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

10 Years

Tomorrow is our 10 year wedding anniversary. 10 YEARS! How can that be??? I still feel like we could both pop back on to the campus of Lincoln and go to class. Although, we would probably get quite a few stares with our three little people in tow!

It is amazing to me how much we have grown and learned and loved. What started as "just a friendship" has become my life. And i couldn't be happier. Has it always been smooth sailing? I would be lying if i said it has. We, like everyone else, have had challenges. But never have we been given more than we could handle. Kind of great how God does that, right??!!

We got married at the ripe old age of 20. We were the first of any of our friends and we really didn't know what we were doing when it came to wedding planning. I had no idea that, as i bride, i should be planning flowers and center pieces and favors. All i knew was i wanted to say "i do" and get on with things! I think that lack of knowledge actually made the whole wedding process a lot more enjoyable for us and a LOT less stress. And the whole thing turned out wonderfully! I have pictures and a video that suggest people enjoyed themselves!! But most importantly, we were now husband and wife! And we could start our lives together as such. Well....after we untangled our car from the string and toilet paper and emptied the 14 million packing peanuts from the inside (thank you Adam Coogle). All you who came after us in the big leap to wedded bliss just count your blessings that people learned how to be decent to the get away car!

The first 4 years were spent....well....i can't remember. I have vague memories of bubble baths every night and going to movies and sleeping in. Tom was in school and i was working. He finished school and we decided it was time to grow our family! And then began the next phase of our lives. Parenthood.

We have been blessed with 3 healthy and beautiful kids. They are so much fun! They are also the reason i can't recall much about the first 4 years! Having babies changes everything. Even the love you have for each other. Seeing these 3 little people that are part of each of us is completely amazing. Picking out traits and assigning who they came from is always amusing. Seeing Tom being a daddy to his kids is one of my favorite things in the world. It makes me love him that much more! He is an AWESOME dad. Which is no surprise because he is an awesome man. One of those people that you can really call "good people". He makes me a better person.

So folks, this is my tribute to our anniversary. I had big plans of posting pictures taking you on a journey through the years. However, i am not the computer savvy one in this duo and i can't remember how to put pictures on the blog. It is time for another lesson. Regardless of my lack of computer skills, it has been great adventure packed 10 years. There is no one i would rather be partnered with through this journey of life and i can't wait for the next 10 years and all the years after that.