Well it’s been a while!

Hey all. It’s been a really long time. I haven’t even checked to see when the last post was, but as the youngest kiddo is about three now, I’m guessing it’s been nearly three years. I hope you’re all well and taking care of yourselves.

So I’m not actually sure I’m restarting this blog. I’m not sure what I’m doing at all, if I’m being frankly honest with you! I’m just thinking about the future and what it might look like.

The older my kids get, the more I think about how bizarre social media has become. Look up whatever studies you like, but as many promises there were that people would be better connected, it seems that people are isolated, depressed, lonely, and divided. I still maintain a Facebook page, for instance, but I think about ditching it because there’s usually so much negativity over there. I don’t blame my friends, I don’t blame the people I follow. It’s just the way things are. Political craziness is at the top of my list and I’ve seen it divide families. Whaddaya do though? People are people and are free to make their choices. Shaming them on social media doesn’t do anything productive.

To bring it back around to the kids, that’s not the future I want for them. I would love for them to go play with their friends, go play in the yard, and go play with their parents. I’m pretty bad about spending too much time on my phone when I should be paying attention to them, and I know that I’m not the only parent out there with that issue.

There’s a guy on the radio I listen to who won’t let his kids get on social media. I think they’re tweens/teens. I think the guy on the radio is right. You can’t control whether your kids set up an account at a friend’s house, but you can control some aspects of their interaction with technology by setting good boundaries and expectations, and having conversations about the reality of things.

For example, my kids know that terrible things happen in the world. They know that terrible things are happening right this very moment to Christians in places like Sudan, North Korea, Myanmar, Iran, and so forth. We pray almost every night for our brothers and sisters in these countries. We talk about that stuff. We talk about how to handle bullies. We talk about how we can be better people. I apologize when I lose my cool and say ridiculous things that I wouldn’t have said if I’d gotten enough sleep or slowed myself down enough to understand what’s going on.

My kids have great manners, because they know it’s the expectation. They also know what to do when they screw up, because I teach them from the Academy of Parental and Human Mistakes.

They know I love them.

Anyway, I think I’ve gotten off-topic. This is something of just a stream of consciousness, me puking out words into a digital bucket.

I don’t know whether or not to tell you to expect more posts here. I know that I prefer a medium like this to Facebook, so maybe that’ll be what happens, but maybe I’ll set up something somewhere else. Either way, it’s time for me to make a change. There are topics I’ll want to discuss that probably aren’t appropriate to a blog about parenting kids so the chances of me setting up something else are pretty reasonable. I’ll link it here if I do.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. Thanks for being on this journey, such as it is. I know you have enjoyed reading about my kids, and that makes me smile.

Be free, friends. Go enjoy yourselves this weekend and tell someone you love that you love them.

I’ve been waiting….. for a girl like you…..

Foreigner. Great stuff!

So here’s the deal. We are officially within a week of the baby’s due date, and the Missus thinks it may be considerably sooner than a week. I’m feeling like I’m already going to lose my mind, but in a good way? I’m excited. I’m terrified. Everyone says going from one kid to two is the most insane thing ever. Well, enough people to make it a maxim.

So I feel like freaking out, but I also feel like now, in the eye of the storm, is probably appropriate to take a minute and pray and reflect and await with anticipation.

I know nothing about my little girl, apart from a healthy heartbeat and a love of dancing until the second I look. Jesus, please help me to love her like I love the Goose.

My mom told me once that before my little brother was born, she was not at all sure how she would be able to love him like she loved me. While I took that at face value, it finally makes sense. Actually, it doesn’t really make sense, but it resonates.

I know that Jesus loves you, little one. The Goose and I have been talking about how Jesus is the Best Good Guy and how He loves everyone. That means you, me, mommy, the cat, and whoever else. And I don’t think He ever has to worry about whether or not He’s going to love a new child as much as the others.

Kiddo, it’s so easy to get swept up in being busy. I’m thinking about that right now as there are chores to be done, and here I am writing in my blog. Shades of Mary and Martha. I’ll read to you about them one of these days. But there’s always something left to do. We haven’t cleaned up the nursery yet, I haven’t put the base for your car seat in my car yet, we haven’t put plug covers in all the outlets yet, and probably a billion other things. I want you to know that when things get overwhelming, it’s okay to say so. It’s okay to step back and take a breath and prioritize. It’s okay to say that some things just aren’t going to get done, because the reality is that you don’t always get everything done.

Hmm. Am I writing this for you or for me? I’d like to think both.

Anyway, there are things to do, and you’ll be here soon enough. I can’t wait to hold you and I can’t wait to see how the Goose will fawn all over you. I can’t wait to see mommy kiss your little lips, and your little toes, and your little fingers, and everything else diminutive and adorable. I can’t wait to see what personality you have as you grow.

I love you, little tiny one. I’ll see you soon.


Life continues to change, continues to grow. And so does our family.

Several months ago, the Missus and I found out that I’m going to need to change the name of the blog to Keeping Up with the Geese, or Goose and Squirrel, or something to that effect. That’s right, the Missus is with child, or expecting, or pregnant, or whatever direct/indirect description you want to use. Keep it PG in the comments, though. Good grief, people. And don’t say “preggers”. The Missus will find you, and she will kill you.

To say I’m excited is an understatement — and also and understatement to say that I’m horrified. It’s not like we weren’t planning, but holy cow — it’s actually HAPPENING. And it’s happening SOON. Like, OCTOBER. Or maybe SEPTEMBER.

Here’s the thing — we’ve known since January, and we ended up going public sometime in April, I think. I forget the exact date. I was going to get on here and make a huge announcement, but life was happening, I hadn’t been on here in months, and I figured both of you readers already knew. That said, I’m going to consider this to be the huge belated announcement I’ve meant to get to for a while. HUZZAH THE MISSUS IS PREGNANT!!!

So while being a parent is quite possibly the best part of my life, it’s also quite possibly the hardest. The Goose is growing and growing and growing, and not just in size, but in ability, humor, attitude, drama, and joy. It’s amazing how someone who was once just a little lump of potential can start filling out that potential! She has the most infectious laugh, the most beautiful smile, and can go from peace time to full out nuclear assault faster than I can keep up. I’m still trying to keep up with the Goose, and I always will be.

So I said I’m horrified, and maybe even beyond horrified. Some of that is hyperbole, of course — I mean, good Lord, we’re having another daughter. The Missus recently shared a quote she’d read with me, and while I have to do a little editing (for the sake of propriety) and I can’t tell you who said it, the general idea is that boys are a b**** to potty train, and girls are a b**** for the rest of their lives. We have enough drama with one, how are we going to handle two nuclear assaults at once???

I’m still excited. I’m just not completely sure how I’m going to keep my sanity. Parents have told me that once you have two kids, each one after that is just adding another number to the total, but going from one to two is complete anarchy.

Anarchy + nuclear warfare = ????

And some of my fears aren’t hyperbole. I’ve mentioned before that I get stressed out easily and think that the sky is falling, and to be honest, I’m no less Chicken Little now than I was a year and a half ago. Most days aren’t terrible, but when I let myself slow down enough to realize that things have been piling up, I get FREAKED. Examples:

  • We don’t yet have the baby room set up.
  • We don’t have a middle name for the baby.
  • I’m still building up a caseload of clients at work and so my paycheck is a little more random than usual.
  • We have a BABY COMING. Will she be early like the Goose? God help us!
  • Why do Fourth of July fireworks last for two months?? Don’t those @#$!##$ jerks know we have a three-year-old??
  • When on earth are we going to have time to go house-hunting?

The Missus shared a blog post with me today (not her own) about Satan stealing motherhood from mothers. I read it and realized that it’s not just for every mother, it’s for everyone. Satan steals and steals and steals, and tries to corrupt what is good, and it’s time to reclaim what God has given us.

  • The baby room isn’t set up yet, but we have a baby.
  • God knows the baby’s middle name, and beyond that, knows her true name.
  • Despite my caseload instability (which is improving), God has blessed us with food on the table every meal, and a roof over our heads without missing one rent payment.
  • If the baby comes early, God will make a way for us to get through, just like He did before.
  • My sister-in-law recommended a noise machine that she said took care of my nephews when fireworks were loud. (Anyone have any experience with the Marpac Dohm? It has some pretty great reviews!!)
  • This house will do until we can find something we can own. Patience, grasshopper.
  • Well, what ARE we having for dinner?

It’s easy to get caught in the trap that my life is my own possession. That’s not ever been true, but I should have been aware of the fact back when I got married and had to readjust my life. Heck, I should have been aware when I gave my life to Jesus back so many years ago. I gave it to Him completely, lock stock and barrel, and about every ten minutes since then I try to amend the contract so He has ownership but I have complete control. And now that I’m married and have children, my life is SO not my own. Sometimes I resent that. Sometimes I just try to roll with it. And sometimes I recognize that I have an awesome and sacred responsibility to give my life to Jesus constantly and consistently, and an equally awesome and sacred responsibility to share that life and all that it is with my family. I love them all so much, and I let exhaustion and fear and busy-ness get in the way.

And there I go again getting anxious. It’s going to be okay. For me, God knows I screw up and that I won’t stop screwing up until I see Him face-to-face, and He loves and blesses me anyway. For you, God knows the same thing. And it’s going to be okay. For one day, we will see Him face-to-face, and it won’t matter if you got the job, or if I got the house, or if the baby comes early, or if the kids get home on time, or if they pass their classes, or anything else.

Be at peace. Easier said than done, I know.

Off and Running


When did I last update this thing? I honestly have no idea. I think it may have been in August 2014.

It is now March 2015, and the Goose has had her third birthday! Where does the time go? I know parents say that pretty constantly, but there’s a reason. And what all does the Goose do now? She has conversations. She tells jokes. She knows how to navigate Netflix. She only watches one episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood a week, but she watches that one episode over and over and over and OVER.

So I’m not sure how the winter treated all of the readers, but it was a bust in the house of Goose. We were all constantly sick. We kept having this one cold that she’d bring home from daycare, or I’d bring home from work. (The Missus doesn’t carry germs. She just catches them.) So once one of us brought it home, it would pass through the rest of us like wildfire. And once the last one was getting healthy again, it would be absolutely no more than 48 hours before one of us was sniffling. Ridiculous. Someone should talk to management about this. We did make the best of it, though. Even though Gwennie was too sick to go outside and play in the snow, I brought in a bucket for her so she could build a tiny snowman, and I broke up a bamboo skewer for various limbs and accouterments. And we also made snow ice cream, which aside from melting a little too quickly is wonderful. She loved it all.

So it wasn’t a complete bust. There are so many more stories to tell that I don’t know where to start with any of them! I’ve started making musical instruments for her (a one-string cigar box guitar and a seven-key kalimba), and I gave her a harmonica I’ve carried in my pocket for a few years. She fusses with them for a few minutes and then they collect dust. It’s okay, right? She’s three, right? NO I HAVE TO MOLD HER INTO MY OWN MUSICAL IMAGE!!!!!! Which means that she’ll get a real job one of these days and lament that she never touches that guitar anymore. Or the other guitar. Or the other one. Or the bass. I have too many and I can’t part with any of them, much to the lament of the Missus, who kindly doesn’t suggest I part with any of them. What a lady. What was I talking about again?

Okay, here’s a funny story. Maybe it’s only funny to me, because it just hits my style of humor so completely. I picked the Goose up from Grandma’s one day, and as I’m putting her in her car seat, she gets sparkly eyes, a big goofy smile, and in a really sing-songy voice, she says, “Hellooooooooo, Jess-IE!!!” I had no idea what she was talking about, so I asked Grandma. “Yeah, she said that to me earlier! I completely don’t understand!”

Me: Goosie, what did you just call me?
Goose: Jessie. [same sparkly eyed goofy smile]
Me: Who is Jessie?
Goose: Jessie is a boy. Jessie wears headphones.

Well, thank God for that. At least I’m a boy.

I finally figured out several days later who Jessie was — there’s an absolutely fantastic show on PBS called Peg + Cat, and there is a teenage boy named Jessie. He’s really a bit character, but he does wear headphones. And the Goose confirmed in a lineup that this was in fact Jessie.

She still says it, and it’s become her own inside joke. I don’t really get it, but I love it. I swear I have to record it and put it on here. I can’t duplicate it in text.

And speaking of inside jokes, I was looking at a book of animals with her a week or two ago, and as I was asking her what the animals were called, she picked one and said “Jemima Puddle-Duck.” And suddenly, amidst much giggling, she began calling all the animals “Jemima Puddle-Duck.”

Among other things of silliness, she is a FIREBALL. She gets upset easily if we tell her no, or ask her to do something she doesn’t want to do, or otherwise challenge any paradigm she holds. Her usual response? The Goose will furrow her brow, yell “Okay, fine!” and run to her room to slam the door. Then she’ll open the door and scream “NOOO!!!!” and slam the door again. The door opens, she says “No” and shuts the door. The door opens again, then closes. Then it opens again, she says “No” or “NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!” and then slams the door. That’s usually about it. A couple weeks ago, she started through the cycle again, and I had to have words with her because her door-slamming knocked a clock off the wall and broke it. I explained that she needed to close the door gently or she’d have to go to time out, which is a punishment seemingly worse than the fires of Hell itself. So later that day, she earned herself a time-out. I had the conversation again with her about how to stay out of time-out, and then later when it all happened again, she yelled “Okay, fine” and started running. I called after her, “Please don’t slam the door” and she didn’t. She still opened it a few times, but didn’t slam it.

I’ll take the small victories, please and thank-you. 🙂

And speaking of victories — there are new things in my life as well! A week and a half ago, I left a job I’d had almost two years in order to *finally* be able to pursue a job that gives me the opportunity to do therapy! I’ll still be doing behavior management primarily, which is great because it’s a job I’ve come to love, but I’ll get to develop more in a direction I had been aiming for for years. I would be lying if I said I weren’t super excited. I’ll miss the people I’ve worked with for the last two years, and I’ll miss my clients, but that’s the (unfortunate) nature of the business. I’ll have to rebuild my empire, so to speak, but an added benefit is that I’ll be working out of a home office, which means more time for the Goose, the Missus, and my own sanity. Maybe I can get back to losing weight so I can be around a long time for the Goose.

Hopefully this also means I can get back into a routine with this blog. There are always more stories to tell, and I do so love telling them.

P.S. When I left my job, my boss got me the best cake ever.

Dr. Goose

Tonight’s drama:

1) Saving the Goose from falling off the couch, over and over and over and over
2) Dancing to classical music inside the Goose’s tent
3) Letting Dr. Goose give me a physical, which consisted of a couple takings of my temperature, lots of oral medicine, and many many MANY shots
4) Becoming a doctor myself and giving Dr. Goose several shots and some oral medicine (we doctors take care of each other)
5) Changing the Goose into her PJs while calling her Dr. Goose in order to distract her from the fact that she didn’t want to change her clothes
6) Putting Dr. Goose to bed with her stethoscope

She really is the best doctor! Such good bedside manner.

More Effective Than Alarm Clocks

Based on a True Story

Today, the House of Goose had a rough morning. Last night, the Goose decided to come down with a cold and hit the sack early. The Missus had an appointment this morning that would allow her to sleep in by an hour, and we went to bed early enough that we would have actually gotten the recommended-but-never-realized eight full hours of sleep. At five in the morning, however, I thought the alarm clock was going off all over the house all at once. Did I say alarm clock? I think I meant screaming banshee from Hell’s Maw. 

It was a smoke detector!! 

All the smoke detectors in our home are linked, so if one goes off, they all start going off sequentially. Oddly enough, they’re each about half a tone off from each other. I’m pretty sure they use mixed off-tones and volumes like that at Gitmo.

“Geez, Dave,” you might say, “did you just link to torture methods at Guantanamo? This blog is getting dark.”

Well, gentle reader, it is what it is. And this particular smoke detector was, as the above picture suggests, in the Goose’s room. Image based on a true story!

At least it isn’t Van Halen played by Darth Vader in 1955.

The Goose was screaming about how the noise was hurting her, and m head was right in it trying to get the blankety-blank smoke detector off the ceiling, which requires two hands and no ability to cover one’s ears. The Missus took the Goose to our bed, and there she waited until Daddy got the razzafrazzin’ smoke detector to hush. I put in a new battery, and blew out dust with compressed air, and reset the thing, and it still went off every couple minutes even though it wasn’t plugged in. 

Le sigh.

So instead of working, I’m home today with the Goose while she gets her rest, and maybe I’ll get some too, since I’m getting to be a little under the weather myself. Daniel Tiger’s mom says that “when you’re sick, rest is best — rest is best“. I don’t have as much animosity toward Daniel Tiger and his family as I used to, but I still bet they play it at Gitmo. Ah well, either way, it’s sound advice, and the Goose and I will take it.

What does the Goose say?



One of the fun things about our neighborhood is that there’s an ice cream truck! Have we ever purchased from said truck? No, but the Goose loves the music it plays, which is a continuous loop of the seminal Disney classic “It’s a Small World“. No voices, just someone using two fingers on an old Casio keyboard. This song has become the Ice Cream Truck Song.

At dinner tonight, I decided to find a video of it on Youtube, so the Goose could hear it in a little more depth. And then we found this video, which I described as sounding a bit like a John Williams Indiana Jones chase. The Goose, completely indignant, furrowed her brows at me and said:

“No, Daddy, NOT John Williams! Ice Cream Truck!!”

All Pinwheels Great and Small


The Goose loves pinwheels, and has had several. The first was a present in her Easter basket, and another was a gift from a lady at a yard sale. The Goose was so fascinated with them that The Missus purchased several sturdy pinwheels for the yard.

So now that we no longer actually live with my parents, the Goose’s grandma has been kind enough to watch the Goose three days a week since The Missus is now working full-time again.

Which reminds me! I haven’t given any recent additions to the Goose to English dictionary! There aren’t a huge number of new entries, simply because the Goose is now two and a half, and her language skills are improving incredibly every day. There are still fun things:

Settygetty = Spaghetti

Srack = Snack

But now she interprets as well!

Goosie, what does Mommy say? I love you!
Goosie, what does Daddy say? Blah blah blah!*
Goosie, what does Grandma say? A sweet pea!
Goosie, what does Grandpa say? Sank you!
Goosie, what does Nana say? Right on! [insert thumbs-up]
Goosie, what does cousin Ariel say? Yeah buddy!
Goosie, what does Miss Jennifer say? Psssspsssspssss

*This, by the way, is how I know she gets me.

But back to all pinwheels great and small. When I take the Goose to visit Grandma, we drive past a large wind generator like this:




And one day, the Goose yelled, “Look, Daddy! A big pinwheel!” So ever since, this generator has become The Big Pinwheel, and the road it’s on has been renamed Big Pinwheel Road. And most days, it turns.

About a week or two ago, though, we noticed that The Big Pinwheel wasn’t turning one morning. The Goose said, “Daddy, fix Big Pinwheel!” I can evidently fix anything. I told her that I couldn’t do it, but perhaps “the guys” would be out later to fix it and have it running by the time we came home. “Guys fix it?” Ah, great. Who are these guys? “Yes, Goosie, the guys will hopefully have it running this evening.” We came back by that evening, and thank goodness, there was enough of a breeze to have it turning.

A couple days ago, it wasn’t turning again. I’d tried several times to tell the Goose about how “the guys” didn’t actually need to come fix it, that it just needed wind, but “the guys” are burned indelibly in her mind as those who fix. In fact, they’re supposed to fix our kitchen table too. So off we went, hoping it would be running in the evening. On this occasion, it wasn’t. The Goose was disappointed.

So somehow or another, the idea popped into my head that we should ask Jesus to fix The Big Pinwheel. So I ask the Goose if she wants to pray with me about that. “Okay,” she says. Like, no big deal. So I pray, as most parents I imagine pray with their children, in the over-exaggerated prayer voice, “Dear Jesus, please fix The Big Pinwheel and make it turn! In Jesus’ name, AYY-MENNN!!” You know what I’m talking about, parents.

And then

very slowly




It was turning fast enough that the Goose noticed. “Goosie,” I said, barely able to contain my excitement, “what did Jesus do?”

“Fix a Big Pinwheel!!”

And so He did.

And you know what? It gave me an opening that I hadn’t realized I’d had before to start telling the Goose who Jesus is. Jesus made the trees, the rocks, the grass, and the Goose, and He loves the Goose so much that He fixed The Big Pinwheel for her. I haven’t gotten into all the other things He fixed, like the theological things, but for the moment, it’s enough that the Goose knows that Jesus loves her enough to fix her favorite Big Pinwheel. Oh, and he made the trees, too.

An Ounce of Prevention



Good evening! I can’t remember when my last update was, and instead of looking, I’m just going to tell a story!

Over the weekend, I was cleaning our new garage. These are the things that come from no longer living with one’s parents — one has to do things like clean garages, mow lawns, and get a power strip to put in the garage so that a mini fridge can be plugged in. You know, the important things. But this is not really about cleaning the garage, although that is the setting. The Goose was kindly staying with her grandparents, so I had time to arrange things.

As I was cleaning, I heard the POP POP POP of gunfire. Our home is in a neighborhood that borders a rural area, so I didn’t think much of it. Right across the street, if one were to go behind those houses, one would see open fields. I figured someone was out shooting in their back yard, because it had the rhythmic POP POP POP of range practice. I’ve fired a gun or two in my time. I can’t always hit the broad side of a barn, but I know what range fire sounds like.

So while I’m cleaning the garage and putting things into my car, I hear a WHIZ WHIZ with the POP POP POP.

POP POP WHIZ WHIZ. Oh what a…. nevermind.

SO! The WHIZ sound sounded like bullets going by me! I had heard that sound at the range before too, but only when I’m close to the other shooters and wearing ear protection that muffles the gunshot enough to hear the bullet sing through the air. I wasn’t sure what to think about this, but thought that maybe some weird sound-reflective property of the neighborhood houses was bouncing that sound back to me. I didn’t hear the THWACK of bullets hitting anything, so I didn’t think much of it.


Without going into a huge amount of detail, here’s the gist: Our neighbor’s house across the street had sustained a bullet wound. The bullet had struck and penetrated the outer wall of the house, passed through the living room and struck an end table. The bullet kept going and passed through the end table, through the next wall into their child’s play room, and stopped in a stuffed animal. Only walls, end tables, and stuffed animals were harmed, fortunately, even though the children were in the room at the time.

Later we found out that our next-door neighbor’s house was hit too. OUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR. I was outside during this whole thing and didn’t notice that I was in potential mortal danger. I’m very glad the Goose was out of town. I’ve checked our house all over and haven’t found any bullet holes, so we were spared. What’s crazy is that the people shooting were about a half mile away and had no clue their bullets were able to travel that far.

I won’t speak to what people should have known when using firearms. People make mistakes, and thank God, no one got hurt. To their credit, they all turned white as ghosts when the police officer told them he found a bullet in a child’s stuffed animal.

This is why people who have cats and children and firearms need to teach them all about gun safety. Especially the cats and the firearms.