The Stairs, the Baby, and the Wardrobe


Our house is not nearly this magical.

For some reason unknown, our duplex is a quintuple split-level. That is, there are five levels staggered from the basement to The Big One’s room, or as I call it the Crow’s Nest. This means there are stairs, stairs everywhere. It wasn’t a huge problem when we moved in, because we only had one kid at the time and he could climb stairs pretty well. But when we had the second one I was worried we would be impeded by baby gates all over the place. Continue reading

Parenting Anticlimaxes


Those pants used to be Kansas State pants. Go Wildcats?

The second half of 2010 was the beginning of a tough stretch in life. I was having some challenges professionally, which would get worse before they got better, and while I was enjoying my new role as father the adjustment period felt like it was taking a long time. Suffice to say I was looking forward to the week off I had coming that Christmas. The holidays are always something of an oasis for me, but that year I had high hopes. The Big One was going to celebrate his first Christmas, and we were going to do it at my parent’s house in Saginaw. It felt almost Rockwellian to me, and I needed the rest besides that. Continue reading

Give Me a Mesozoic Mind


That’s a rhabdodon. I’d never heard of this one when I was a kid. It was kind of a dwarf iguanadon.

If you knew me when I was three or four years old, you know that I was into dinosaurs. I mean, like, really into them. I had five stuffed dinosaurs that I slept with every night. I had piles of books talking about them, and another bunch of them that I got from the library. It didn’t matter if I already knew everything the book had to tell me, I still had to read it. It became a yearly tradition in our family to drive to the Sloan Museum in Flint to see an annual exhibit filled with animatronic dinosaurs. The last time we went (maybe in 1992) they had to move the exhibit to a mall,  because that year they had created a life-size Tyrannosaurus. That mamma was 25 ft. tall, so big that they actually had to remove part of the ceiling to fit it in. Continue reading

Get Me Out of the Ballgame

Kauffman Stadium

This weekend we decided it was high time we fulfilled our duty to American nostalgia and take our boys to a baseball game. The Kansas City Royals generally are an affordable stadium experience, so we bought nosebleed seats and watched the Royals jump out to a 6-0 lead in two innings. Since the Big One was starting to get a little restless, my wife decided that she would take him to look at some of the shops and other things while I stayed in the stands with the Little One. The Royals somehow managed to barf up 7 runs in the 4th, but our baby was flirting with everyone in a six-foot radius so it was still pretty enjoyable. Continue reading

Not Just Lawn Care

Last year on the 4th of July we were going through a little phase with The Big One (then just The Boy). He didn’t like to take a nap in the afternoon, you see. For those of you who don’t have little kids, missing a nap really sucks. Naptime is basically what allows parents to stay sane in the evening. If The Big One misses his nap, about 5:30 he starts basically going insane. He jumps around,  headbutts us, tackles his brother, things like that. Continue reading

Show Me the Way to Go Home

I haven’t seen my kids for almost two weeks.

Granted, a big chunk of that time was taken up by my trip to Indianapolis (got back fine last night, thanks for asking). Since it was a big conference attended by a lot of old friends and acquaintances, I was frequently asked about my family, and where my kids were. I was given the good advice to carry a current photo around to show people. And of course everyone gushed about how cute they are, because they are seriously super-cute. Continue reading

Chance of Showers

This evening was our church’s first night of VBS, so we took The Big One to it for the first time. Afterwards, I walked him to the car and talked with him about all of the things he did tonight. We were going to pull around to the other side of the church to pick up his mom and his brother. While I was going across the parking lot, he informed me that he had to poop. Usually this is something he is only interested in doing at home, so I asked if he could hold it. His first answer was affirmative, but upon further consideration he declared it a pressing urge. Continue reading