White noise from The White House

Imitating an Imitator

 My favorite sportstalk radio host is Dan Patrick.  On the occasional chance that I catch a part of his program, I chuckle when callers start their contribution with their height and weight – 6’3, 301 lbs (ding!) in my case.  Sometimes measureables define us. 

My son Micah is 41 inches and 40 lbs.  He is 3 years and 2 mo.  For context, here’s where he falls on the height weight chart:

 Height Weight

(thanks CDC)

Per the graph, he is “off the charts” in height and weight.  If you draw a line between his current height and weight – he’s the height of an average 5YO boy and the weight of a 4YO.  But he’s 3.

As many of you know, I like golf.  In a previous chapter of life, my ability to hit a golf ball defined a large part of my identity.

I am now the parent of a golf nut.  Outside of the first time I took him to the driving range, I have not pushed golf onto Micah.  We went to the range a couple times last year, including this picture of him hitting after telling me how far he was going to hit it (there’s a theme here):


This year, we have gotten into the habit of going to “the golf course with the airplanes”.  Translated from 3YO verbage – that means the driving range next to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base flight line on Area A.  We hit golf balls, we watch C-17’s do touch and go’s, and occasionally catch a fighter do this:

Initially, I thought he liked going moreso because of the airplanes.  But I was wrong, I had a golf nut on my hands.  Perhaps only a phase.  We’ll see though.

On Father’s Day, Jaymie encouraged me to take him to the course.  I told Micah we were going to play “real golf”.  He’s 3. He didn’t know what that meant really and just presumed we were doing our usual range work.  Decked out in matching Cubs hats, we headed out for the course.  A selfie on 15th hole:


We went to Twin Base Golf Club.  It is the lesser of the two Wright-Patt golf courses and I suspected it would not be busy.  I was right.     

He was thrown off once we turned from OH-444 to go to Twin Base rather than our usual entrance through the security checkpoint on Area A past the usual things he mentions from past trips (“hey Dad, there’s that windowless building!, “hey Dad, there’s the airplane decoration”).  We got out of the car, I got my shoes on and we walked into the shop.  After signing a waiver that I wouldn’t sue the government if Micah died by golf ball, we went to the first tee.  The ride from the clubhouse to the first tee blew his mind.  The pencil.  A steering wheel.  Straps for clubs. 

I wanted to get away from the clubhouse before letting him loose.  So Micah just got a feel for the game on the short par 4 first hole.  He was fascinated by the tee markers, the fairway, and the green.  He held the pin for me.  I teed off the second hole and let him hit from the fairway where I had my approach shot.  His first swing on a real golf course – a 31 yard drive.  I stepped it off.  He made contact on the first swing.  A proud Dad beamed. 

We rode around the golf course as the sun set.  We played 13 holes in the twilight.  He had the time of his life.  We came home and an excited 3YO boy who’s brain works faster than he can talk shared with his Mom about this whole new world.  He asked to go back the next day, and the next, and the day after that too.  Most days he asks.

We’ve gone to the range a few times since then and hit the “real” course a couple more times, including tonight.

He wants to be like me.  He is an imitator.  If I mow, he mows:

IMG_3250 IMG_3260

With golf, here’s my swing:


Here’s his swing (he does whiff on occasion):


Same wide open stance, same rapid backswing.  Strong right hand grips.  Short follow through.  Big cuts.

The similarities don’t stop there.  He walks like me.  Today, he started crouching down before he putt (like I do when I read the slope of the green).  He must think I’m looking at my golf ball as he was crouching down getting his face as close as he could to the Nike logo on his golf ball.  We have some things to work on.  I have a habit of sweeping the grass with my club as I walk off the green.  Micah started sweeping the grass with his clubs as he walked off the green.  I did not say a word, we did not talk about either of these items.  He watched me do them and then he began to do them.  He didn’t ask why, he just did them. 

He’s also learning some not good things.  “Dad, why are you mad at your golf ball again?” after hearing me berate myself for a poor shot last time we played. 

I don’t claim that this experience is unique to me.  I think (and hope) all Dad’s have experienced this sweet and sobering moment.  There’s a country song written about this idea (“I’ve been watching you…”.  Personally, I’m challenged.  If he’s already learned to swing like me, walk like me, read greens, or sweep the grass – what else is he learning from me by watching?  Am I teaching him well?  Or the right things?  What is he picking up from my attitude, my mannerisms, my 33 (now 34) YO temper tantrums?  Is he learning how to love God, love his future wife (by watching me love mine), work hard, handle the ups and downs of life with grace, and care for people?  I hope so.  I know that more times than not I am not the example I need to be. 

Some of you have heard us complain about him.  He didn’t sleep through the night until what seems like a few months ago.  He has a STRONG will.  He can’t be talked off the ledge.   

But only a few have heard from us is that the kid has a heart of gold, a willing and humble spirit, a true *passion* for helping.  If me or Jaymie are “working”, Micah’s helping – mow, vacuum, sweep, pick up, or plant.  He’s humble and sweet.  He’s determined.  He’s fun loving and laughs a lot. 

But as I am called to be an imitator, Micah is imitating me.  His measurables are exceptional.  But his heart, his head, and his soul need something to emulate to help him grow into who he can become.  Measurables only go so far.  I need to be a better imitator. For Micah’s sake.  For Avery’s sake.  For Beckett’s sake.  For Jaymie’s sake.  And for my sake. 

If you’ve read this, please say a little prayer for this little guy. We named our little baby boy Micah because Jaymie and I share a favorite verse, Micah 6:8 (NIV):

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[a] with your God.

Pray that for Micah.  Please pray that for me.


Hey, it’s been a while…

After several (okay, like 3), harassing emails and being called out on this blog by Tim, I’m back at it tonight.  It’s been a busy time.  We’ve been eating meals most weeks even without my Monday Meals posts, and the kids are getting cuter and bigger by the day though there are no pictures to prove it.  Since it’s been so long, I thought I’d just give an update on each of us so we can all just move on from here, okay?

Micah:  Micah, oh Micah.  Could you possibly get any cuter?  I think not.  At his one year appt, he was 29 lbs and 32 inches long.  He’s a big dude.  Solid.  Dense.  One of my friends actually said she would bet money in Vegas that he will be drafted into the NFL.  I told her that was impossible since he was never going to play football, but go ahead and play.  He’s also 100% boy.  I had no idea that there would be such a difference between boys and girls at such a young age.  Micah loves to tackle anything that moves….it’s like he’s a bull and the world is his matador.  He also loves to  bite….everything.  If you get too close, he’ll Mike Tyson you–guaranteed. This might have something to do with him getting 3 molars and both of his eye teeth right now?  He loves being outside and charges at our little baby pool if he sees it filled.  He loves to eat rocks, dirt, mulch and bird poop.  He’s constantly amazing us with what he will and is able to put in his mouth (it’s huge).  He’s very physical and has reached all of the those milestones before Avery did…crawling at 6.5 months, taking steps at between 8 and 8.5 months and walking everywhere around 9.5 months.  He has recently began climbing on everything, too.  I’ve found him standing on Avery’s trike, the kids’ picnic table, in high chairs at restaurants and in the shopping cart when I turn my back…hey, sometimes the straps don’t fit around his sweet chubbalub little belly!  He’s a really, really happy little guy.  He has the most contagious smile and laugh.  I think I fall in love with him more every single day.  If he improves upon on thing, he would truly be perfect: sleeping through the night!!!  That kid doesn’t want to miss a thing…even at 4 am.  Thankfully, he is the cutest little guy on the planet, which is his redeeming quality at midnight or 2 am or 4 am.  🙂  We love you, Bubba!

Avery:  Avery turned 3 on May 28.  She has a ton of personality, and I love it (most of the time).   She is the most fun-loving little girl I know.  Her little personality is coming out more and more and she has apparently gotten my flair for the dramatic:  “Mom, I don’t want to go to WalMart, I want to stay at home FOREVER!”  After a sip of Dad’s Diet Coke: “Dad, that tastes awful!”  After Dad brought her the wrong stuffed animal: “Not that frog, Dad.  I’m looking for the smallest frog in the world.”  She loves her stuffed animals or her Fisher Price zoo animals.  Her love for animals is definitely inherited from her father.  She even touched a snake at the zoo the other day.  She’s fearless.  I think the only things she’s afraid of are the people dressed as gingerbread men at the zoo during Christmastime…and who can blame her?  They’re kind of creepy.  She took swimming lessons this spring.  For the first sessions, they have to do parent/child class which is for ages 6 months through 5 years.  She was pretty much cannon-balling it off the side as the other babies bounced in the water.  Needless to say, she passed onto the next class which we’re planning on starting later this summer.  She is very, very social and loves all kids and babies….she loves her friends and I’m so proud of her and how she treats them when she’s around them.  She wants everyone to be involved and have fun and has a sweet little heart right now.  She loves Micah and my favorite times are when they are making each other laugh.  Although she sees him as a pesky little brother sometimes (esp when he’s trying to bite her), she really loves him a lot and she’s turning into such a sweet little girl.

Tim: Tim’s still hard at work.  He recently got back from Italy and has been playing golf ever since.  Kidding…well, kind of.  He has gotten the golf bug this summer and has been able to get out and play a lot more than in the past few years.  He’s playing in a tournament tomorrow, actually and well, let’s just say he’s been very….dedicated this week:)   It’s been fun to watch him get that competitive drive back, as he’s playing in golf league this spring and summer.  He’s doing a great job as dad.  Avery, as a baby, always wanted Momma, but Micah loves having Daddy around and will follow Tim around whenever he gets home from work.  It’s pretty darned cute.  Tim had a slow year for traveling (thanks, Uncle Sam!), but it seems it will pick up again later this summer and into the fall.  He won a couple of awards at work this spring….an Early Career Award and Junior Force (may the {junior} Force be with you) and had a paper published in Nature, which is one of two top scientific journals.  I’m proud of all he has accomplished, but mostly just like watching him entertain the kids at home….it’s quite humorous watching him dance.

Me:  Well, I’ve been really enjoying life with 2 kids lately…especially since Micah doesn’t cry all day anymore.  That part has really upped the enjoyment.  I love seeing them together and being their Mom.  I’m starting to run again after too long of a hiatus.  I feel as if I’m pulling a baby grand again, but I know if I give it a few weeks, it will start to feel more like an upright.  I’ve been able to go out at least once a month with some other mom-friends, which is usually pretty fun.  Tim and I are doing a small group with a good group of people too, and I’m doing a Bible study on Tuesday evenings.  Bible-thumping!  Yee-aww.   I still stink at most domestic things, although I started mowing the lawn again, which makes me feel accomplished as well as allows me to work on a little bit of a tan. (Tim argues that our children are the whitest children on the planet…I argue that albinos are whiter.)  I also have been struggling with post-partum hair loss and re-growth.  I make those men in the “before” pictures for Rogaine feel good about their situation.  It’s bad.  I feel like Charlie Brown many mornings…Should I pull 2 or all 3 of my hairs back into a ponytail this morning?  Tough decisions.  I’ve recently started taking Biotin which, from what I’ve read, either makes your hair grow thick or throws you back into teenage acne.  I’ll let you know how mine turns out.  I’m hoping to update this more frequently now.  I know I need to record more of our family memories, but for some reason I don’t always make time for it.

Hope you enjoyed the update….please comment if you read!

Proud Papa…It’s Been Awhile

We have cute kids. Doesn’t every parent? I feel constant guilt about the lack of dissemination of pictures/videos/etc. Heck, I can’t even keep up with it myself. Our kids lives will be well-documented. They will have no trouble finding fodder for their wedding slideshow(s).

So here are some pictures:







Times they are a Changing…

We had a garage sale a few weekends ago. For some unknown reason, I feel the need to keep old electronics. The garage sale forced me to sort through my big bin of electronics (BBOE) and I found this:


I put Jaym’s iPhone since my Blackberry technically isn’t ours.

10 years ago I was graduating from Central and was just about to buy my first cell phone (the Zack Morris Nokia – standard issue in blue). Amazing how times have changed…

Good Aim

To my avid readers

Milk carton: Jaymie from the blog. Luckily I am here.

So the other night we thought we had food poisoning due to stealing frosted Easter cookies from the kids. The family that gave them to us was convinced they were bad and the cause of the bug that rolled through their house. Jaym and I had it on Monday. Micah pulled up lame on Tuesday night. It wasn’t food poisoning.

Now for specifics: he vomited at 1:00 AM. Jaym had calmed him by 2:30 or so. And laid him down. He got up again and came to the rescue due to an elbow in the side and an admonishment that ” he goes down easier for you”. So I’m up there and go through the fall asleep in my arms, lay down, he wakes up and screams at me to pick him up, pick him up, rock him back to sleep routine five times. Finally, he doesn’t calm back down after picking him up. It seemed like something was up with him but I didn’t know what. So Jaym comes in. Like many husbands, I know that simply turning the baby around to face Mom followed by the question ” what do you think is wrong with him?” usually is the first step to figuring out. Micah immediately filled in the blank by vomiting on Jaym for the second time in the night.

Good aim I guess. Jaym was not pleased.

Picture time








Monday Meals…on Sunday…Big T Style

Tonight: burgers
Monday: Fajita chicken salad
Tuesday: steak
Wednesday: pulled pork sandwiches
Thursday: brat patties

No recipes needed.


Dear Troy and Stacey

If you still are coming here to read what meals we’ve been eating…fear not…we have not been starving. The blog was on hiatus as we cheated winter. Thought I’d share a few Averyisms:

While reading the Very Hungry caterpillar with Mom:
(Jaym reads a few pages about how much the caterpillar ate)
Avery: “the caterpillar goes (burp noise). Then he says cuse me.

At night or other times of procrastination:
Avery: Mom, me, Rudolph and the elves are scared of the yeti and Gingerbread man.

Avery after coming down for second time: Dad, where’s my unicorn?

Monday Meals

After a fun long weekend in Iowa, we’re back at it in snowy Ohio.  Never fear, it’s supposed to be almost 60* by tomorrow.  This has been my kind of winter.  Troy, here are some pinteresting food ideas for you:)

Monday: Skinny Doritos Taco Bake: http://www.mamalaughlin.com/2012/02/skinny-doritos-taco-bake.html

Tuesday: Easy Garlic Chicken: http://www.food.com/recipe/easy-garlic-chicken-5478

Wednesday: Grilled Cheese and soup

Thursday: Chili

Friday: Winging it

Happy Monday!


Tonight, Avery asked Jaym to sit down on the floor and ride on the ‘schoolbus’. Jaym asked her “Where are are going?” Avery: “Preschool.” Jaymie: “What are we going to do when we get there?” Avery: “I’m going to tell the teacher that I have to go to the big girl potty.”

You think we’ve oversold this connection between Avery’s desire to go to preschool and the need for her to potty train?

She’s still sorting it out.

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