Diary of a Stay At Home Dad: Hey Frank – It’s Ryder Cup Week!

Around here we love golf.  So it goes without saying that Ryder Cup week is one of our favorites.

Every two years the best 12 players from the United States go head to head with the best 12 players from Europe.  The home country alternates every two years.  It’s at Medinah County Club outside of Chicago this year.  This is an old tournament.  They’ve been playing is since 1927.  It was viewed as a friendly exhibition for the most part, until 1991. That year the Ryder Cup was held at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.  Dubbed War by the Shore it was the first time the matches were televised on a major network.  NBC showed all three days of the tourney and they got a good one.

The tournament just happened to be the weekend after a majority of the troops returned home from Desert Storm, and a wave of US nationalism swept over the tournament setting.  It got a little ugly, which is unseemly for golf but great for TV.  Some of the players wore camouflaged golf hats to honor the troops and some Euros, as well as some on the American team, felt that was over the top.  It’s just golf.  So it got a little contentious.  That Ryder Cup is the reason ESPN now shows every minute from Thursday morning to Sunday night.  The War by the Shore also made the tourney much more than an exhibition.  It went from a friendly, as the Euros would say, to a heated rivalry. Instead of being a nice diversion from the regular season on the PGA tour every two years, it became an honor and privilege to represent your country or continent in the Ryder Cup.

Thanks to some great friends and my brother-in-law Brad, I had the chance to go the Ryder Cup matches in 2008 at Valhalla Country Club in Louisville KY.  I had never been to a pro golf event so I was wide eyed the entire weekend.  It was a huge production and a great time.  The US won that year which only added to the awesome.

This year is better for two reasons.  For one the golf is better all the way around.  Today’s matches were a clinic on putting and course management.  But even better, Frank watched about 3 hours with me today and new kid decided to sleep on me through most of the morning round TV coverage.  Of course they were both sporting the colors and getting into the spirit of the thing.

Frank’s ready for a Ryder Cup beat down of the Euros

Anne Marie (new kid) is ready too. USA! USA! USA!











Now AM can’t watch because TV is off limits to her for quite a while.  With her early eye issues and her brian still developing the last thing we need is to have her hard wiring programmed by the Golf Channel.  Or is it?  Hmmm.  No no no I can’t.  But how cool would that be, just plug her brain pan into some Tiger Woods highlight footage and create the ultimate golfer.  Yeah, no I can’t.

I’ll just have to do it the hard way; with hard work on the range.  Frank got the best of both worlds though.  He would watch the golf channel for a few hours while I got the house work done.  Now he’s three and has a pretty good swing and he still likes watching it on TV with me.  That’s pretty much the definition of a win-win in my book.

Not bad for a lefty using right handed clubs.

Doin work. Nice finish. That one went about 12 yards in the air, right in the mayor’s office (straight).












Frank really has taken to the game and I can’t help wondering if it was his saturation to the golf channel that moved things along.  My hope is Anne Marie will  catch on to Franks love of the game and we’ll be hitting the links when she turns 3 as well.

Until then she’ll just have to have her back to the TV and wonder what in the world Frank and I are cheering or complaining or acting so nuts about.

Post practice lunch in the “Golf House” as Frank calls it.











Diary of a Stay At Home Dad: Baby update and pictures!

It’s been a little while since I tossed out a medical update on kid#2, aka Anne Marie.  This will be the last such update.  You’ll still see more pictures than you probably wanted to see, I just won’t be doing any more medical updates.  A lot of reasons for that, the most obvious being she is doing great, fat as a prize pig at the fair, and almost ready to crawl and get her first tooth.  So here is the last medical update for one Anne Marie, 1 pound baby.

We’ve had several follow up visits this past week.  The first was a trip back to the NICU or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UT Medical.  The visit was actually in an office on another floor of the hospital.  The three people that saw AM were amazed at her size, head control, her ability to rollover and the way she knocked back her formula.  That visit didn’t last long as far as AM was concerned, but the midicos who checked out AM were regulars in the NICU.  They were on day shift apparently because I didn’t know them, but Tracy did and they took a trip down memory lane.

Once that was done we went up to the NICU to visit some new friends.  We never made it past the admin desk.  Nurses were coming out of the woodwork to see the kid.  She was a rock star.  Even the doc who initially handled Linda Claire came out to say hello.  He was pretty psyched to see how well AM was doing.  It was a good visit all around.

Next up was Pediatric Pulmonology.   All good there too.  Last apnea/heart event was 20 August.  If she keeps that up she’ll shed the monitor in late October.  It was our second visit, and when I say our I mean just me and AM.  Frank was at school and the misses was out earning the bacon.  Of the many things Tracy has taught me, being my own advocate when it comes to medical issues has been one of the most valuable.  Now if I could somehow recall the lesson on tact my buddy and former boss Chris taught me there would be one less male nurse practitioner crying right now.

The kid gained over a pound since our last visit, that’s 16oz for y’all without a handy measurement converter.  So Dr. Vinnie-Boom-Bots says he might be putting her back on 24 calorie formula if she doesn’t start growing more, he wanted to see a half ounce a day. I let him stew on that math for a second.  It was 28 days since they weighed her last.  She gained 16.8 ounces over that time.  Simply dividing 16.8 by 28 gets you .6 ounces a day.  It has a technical term too, now what was that… oh yeah MORE THAN A HALF OUNCE A DAY.  Or you could just accept that gaining 1/2 ounce every day for 30 days (a standard earth month), would net you 15 ounces.  So the fact that she gained over a pound or 16.8 ounces from the visit last month you should know she was ahead of the 1/2 ounce a day weight gain.  I mean do I have to graph this for Dr. Killmequick?  He finally got it but then tried to blabber something to cover up.

Back up Dr. Spock, the NICU docs and our own pediatrician want AM to just stay on the growth arc she currently inhabits.  He seemed a little offended when I didn’t regard his advice with the proper amount of respect, which means none, I paid it no respect at all. My questions about his thought process from that moment on then got him the rest of the way offended.  Then he says AM may not qualify for the RSV vaccination.  I said bro, my wife’s company makes that plus your colleague from the last visit already scheduled her to get it.   The guy was just a big negative nancy.  We just went 4 months in a glass box, we don’t do negative, it’s bad for business.  So I just gave placating nods from then on and called Tracy  on the way home. She moved in for the kill.  She called the office and we won’t be seeing Doc McStuffins again.

On to the pediatrician.  That was today.  The kid is a porker.  Now tipping the scales at 11 pounds 13 ounces and taping at 23.2 inches.  She’s about 50th percentile in those two categories for y’all scoring at home.  Although that would be on the adjusted age scale. Her melon on the other hand is at 41 cm and hitting 76% on the actual age scale.  Our doc thinks she looks great and doesn’t believe she’ll need much if any physical therapy. We’re also starting some rice cereal tomorrow.

Did I mention other than when I intervene she is sleeping through the night?

So that’s the tale of the tape.  All is good and it’s full steam ahead.  Here’s a few pictures of fatty and her brother.

Here’s looking at you kid.

Bath time. Who farted?

Look pop, no hands!

Ok, you got me. I farted.

I think mommy stole this swing from the NICU.

Too cool for school: Scholastic Printables

Once upon a time Tracy and I thought about home schooling Frank. Yeah, all right, I though about doing it. I honestly thought I could just bust open my old college text books and get busy. I mean a lot of people at that time in my college life thought I was an adolescent and yet I made it through Calculus III and Physics. So I figured all I needed to do was crack the old text books, sit Frank down and get to work.

I did some serious research and found some great sites with better alternatives than me hammering out lessons from my old text books. Turns out there is an easier way. First of all we sent him to school. That was way easier. But Scholastic Printables had the stuff if we decided to keep Frank home. I checked out their math stuff and it’s pretty tight.

Take a look for yourself here:4th grade math worksheets

Scholastic Printables provides access to over 15,000 teaching worksheets and printable resources for students from Pre-K to 8th grade. Their Printable Worksheets
offer a wide range of topics to cover all subjects nad themes throughout the school year, while supplying everything you need to teach an integrated curriculum.
Their printables can be used for in class curriculums, home schooling, or enhancing and complementing children’s education before and after school.

Don’t go it alone man, seek help.

Smart is good.