Alpha Female

This was too good to pass up. MK has become quite the referee, and I don’t want to hear a word about Michael Vick.  If you listen closely, you can hear her cheering for “bubba.” He obviously needs the support.

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Sissy is really using that low center of gravity to her advantage. I’m going to have to do some more work with Seve.

Party Girl

Little Miss CB has quite the social calendar. It’s been one birthday party after the other lately.

The soccer themed party was a big hit – even more so for daddy. CB got the soccer out of her system, I didn’t have to get up at 5:30 on a Saturday morning.

Cheesin’ it up with the Birthday Girl.

CB got some stickers as part of her party favors. We never thought anything of it until later that day when we heard her announce that the “Face painting booth” was open. Her first customer?

Little Sister, of course.

And, from the soccer field to Build a Bear.

CB in the early stages of “Vanilla’s” life.

Posing with her new buddy.

A true party girl.

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Definitely a hit with all the princesses.

Sic 'Em Bears

When you hang around where I do on a regular basis it’s nice to get away for a while and visit somewhere nice…like Texas.


So, when the Bears were playing in Waco this weekend, a little trip north for some tailgating was in order.  The only thing that concerned me with the tailgating is that the smallest members of the crew seemed to be quite experienced


Everybody knows preparation is the key.


Maybe a little too experienced.



Good thing the baby sitter was there to keep an eye on things.

“Just keep cool, Maddy.  This happens all the time.  Ignore her and she’ll go away.”


Finally, the big game.

 Thanks to Molly and Shane, and of course the fine folks at Central National Bank, we had a great time with all the pre-game festivities.


CB is an old pro at Touchdown Alley after last season and wanted to hit all the stops.


This year we ventured over to the face painting and tattoos.

Do you know how hard those things are to get off?  CB’s came off no problem, but I scrubbed for 2 days to get that @#$#% claw off my face.


It’s just not tailgating without dusting off the throwing arm. 

Huddle up – everybody take a knee.

The Rieger family has quite the speed in the backfield.


Even with all the activity around her – MK knows the real reason for tailgating.

 CB and I did manage to make it into the game and it never dawned on me that this was the first time she had ever actually been to the game.  Needless to say, the girl is a Bear for life.  She was completely enthralled.

 I didn’t know if it would be the band, the fireworks, the cheerleaders or what that CB was so infatuated with.  Wrong.  CB saw the twirlers on the field and then later saw one walk past us and she was speechless – quite a feat for her.


She kept pointing at them and finally exclaimed, “Daddy!  I want to be a princess!”  I don’t know if it was the costume, the makeup, but whatever, CB was convinced they were princesses.  Baylor princesses – do they have scholarships for that?

Genetics at Work

Although there are countless benefits found in the Havens’ DNA, there are some tragic flaws as well.  One that has plagued us for generations appears to have latched onto MK.  Although I’m not sure of the scientific name, we refer to it simply as “PaPa Hair” for its founder.


It strikes without warning and maybe the only hope for future generations is to get some curly haired spouses in the works.


 However, with these genes, it’s still doubtful.

Breaking News!!!!

For all of you following the Bin-Bin story, we have some shocking updates.  While I admit I wrote the first story, I was still a little suspicious myself.  Considering my sources, Al and CB, I thought there might have been a chance that I was being sucked into some elaborate hoax. 

Bin-Bin didn’t have much to say about the encounter.  Actually, nothing to say at all.  I guess he’s not so impressed with the imaginary friend come to life story.  As for me, I’m convinced.


One of the best shows on tv right now in case you’ve missed it.  I was scanning through our Tivo the other day and apparently the only thing I watch anymore is Mythbusters, Golf Central. Survivorman, and Sniper School – proof positive that I’m turning into my father faster than expected.  However, I think I’ve come up with a good episode for Mythbusters.


Myth:  Can an iPod that hits a treadmill running at 8.5 mph suddenly be turned into a mini-rocket and hit someone 15 feet behind you on a stair master?


You don’t have to wait around for the answer to this one – it’s an unfortunate yes.


For the last year I’ve been working out at UT during my lunch hour. A good way to stay in shape, but a bad place for someone like me who refuses to admit he’s a day over 18.


I was on a treadmill at lunch and doing fine cruising along at a steady 5-6 mph. I’m not a fast runner, and don’t plan on being one.  The problem is there was this guy to my right clipping by at 7mph and then this female phenom to my left hitting a steady 9 mph.  I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that she was a little younger than me, and by a little younger I mean that she was probably 6 years old when the GnR “Appetite for Destruction” I was listening to on my iPod came out.  No, it can’t be that – she was probably there at UT on some World Class Sprinting scholarship.


I was left with no choice – I had to increase the speed.  I get up somewhere between 8.5-9.0 mph and I’m doing fine.  Other than the fact that I can’t see and my left leg is numb.  Somewhere around this time my hand hits the earphone cord and rips the iPod off the front of the treadmill down to the belt where it is quickly propelled behind me.  I snap my head around just in time to see it hit the stairmaster behind me.  Thankfully the front of the stairmaster took the brunt of the blow and it didn’t come in contact with the girl on the machine.  To set the scene, there are probably 20 treadmills across the front row and then an additional 20 elliptical and other cardio machines in the row behind, and they were almost all full.  I had quite a crowd. 


I thought at this point there were only two options, fake a stroke and bow out gracefully, or get back on.  Clearly, if you can’t handle the treadmill at 8.5 mph the only thing left to do in my mind is to get back on and increase the speed. So, I did.   I made it a little while longer and then left the scene quietly.

 I know there’s a lesson in here somewhere about aging or humility or something.  But I think there’s an even more important one, for me.  Clearly, I need to get one of those iPod nanos – those things are so much lighter that when this happens again, it will greatly reduce my liability if it hits someone.

Imaginary…not so much

I’ve long said that if someone were to make a movie of CB’s life it would be an ensemble cast.  That girl never has a shortage of imaginary friends.  But it seems lately that some of those “imaginary” friends are making an appearance in the real world.


One of the recurring characters in CB’s adventures is Bin-Bin.  Bin-Bin is a small Chinese boy that is in CB’s school.  She talked about him so much last year that we thought he actually was in CB’s class.  Al pulled out her classroom info and sure enough we didn’t see a Bin-Bin on the roll.  Problem solved.


CB talked about Bin-Bin all summer and what they did.  She’d call him on her cell phone, along with Lucy, another one of CB’s favorites.  Whenever I’d ask CB if Bin-Bin were in her class this year, she’d tell me that no, he wasn’t.  He was still at her school, but in a different class.


Things got more interesting recently on a trip to the library.  Al and the girls had gone to story time one morning when suddenly CB pops up with, “Mommy, there’s Bin-Bin!”  Al looks over and sees a Chinese lady with a small son, who looks exactly like what CB has described.  They walk over directly toward Al, but then turn away to go look at some other books.  I asked Al why she didn’t go and talk to the lady, to which Al responds with, “Yeah, wouldn’t that be an interesting conversation.  I’m sorry ma’am but is your son named Bin-Bin, because we think he’s imaginary, but there’s always a possibility that he could actually be the small Chinese boy that my daughter is always speaking of.” 


Ok, I don’t blame Al for not asking.  Fast forward to this morning.  Al was taking CB to school and after dropping her off when she sees the same boy from the library going into another classroom.  He’s going into the classroom of the teacher that CB had last year.  Al could not stand it any longer, and I would have loved to hear this conversation.


Al asks CB’s old teacher what the little boy’s name is.  She responds with…wait for it…Bin.


“Bin?” Al asks.  The teacher replies that his name is Bin, but we all call him Bin-Bin.  The teacher goes on to explain that he was in CB’s class last year, but he came in about halfway through the year, explaining why he wasn’t on the roll. She said he was one of the sweetest little kids that she had ever taught, and that he hardly spoke any English.  CB took to him immediately and mothered him for the rest of the year.  CB’s teacher said that CB kept an eye on Bin-Bin and always made sure he was included in everything and made sure he knew where he was going at all times.  Unbelievable.  I had been making up stories with Bin-Bin, the Easter Bunny, and Batman for the last year, and CB had been going along with it all.  Who’s the weirdo now?


I’m now waiting for us to be walking through the mall and have CB introduce us to a 24-year old female with a newborn.  Who would that be?  Lucy, of course, another of CB’s imaginary friends.

Looong Monday

Ever feel like you need a soundtrack for your day? John Prine’s Long Monday would fit perfect. The day started at 5:00 am with me heading South of Houston for work related issues. I wasn’t flying solo however, and let’s just say it was a loooong, turbulent journey. Including an all day jaunt in a rented PT Cruiser convertible and lunch at someplace that would have fit in perfect in Downtown Baghdad.

After 7 hours in the car, it put me back in Austin just in time for traffic for an additional 1 1/2 hour commute home. Good times. Then the fun starts.

I’m trying to give the girls a bath while Al ran to the store. I get the tub full and am trying to wrestle MK out of a diaper. I get the diaper almost completely off as she is running, literally, out the bathroom door. I pulled the diaper off not expecting a surprise to fall out the back door. Sure enough, it did. I caught the remnants in the diaper and continued to chase the Sprinting Dumper across the house. I finally get her in the tub and start looking for CB.

CB then looks in the tub before she gets in and asks “What is all that?”  Apparently, MK was not finished and then promptly finished the job in the tub. Niiice. Remember I’m flying solo here – I think Al planned it this way.

I grab MK and tell CB to not touch any of the bath toys. She grabs the soap and shampoo and we head to Mommy and Daddy’s Tub. I fill the tub and am trying to keep the girls contained. The tub is about a 1/4 full and I turn and see a diving stick in the tub.

“CB, why did you put this in here?” I ask.

“I didn’t. Mary Kate did.” CB responds. Oh yeah, while I had MK over my shoulder carrying her to the other tub she’s swinging this stick over her head. And the stick? Yeah, it’s contaminated from the prior tub incident.  So now we have 2 kids, 2 tubs, both with some floating chunks.

At this point I’m forced to do a quick scrub job on our tub, and am praying that Tuesday cannot get here quick enough.

Football Kickoff

NFL season kicked off this week. I readily admit that I’m not the biggest football fan, but the Cowboys are another story. Growing up as a male in Texas with Staubach in the background, well, it’s more of a religious obligation to watch the Cowboys. However, I absolutely refused to watch the ‘boys when Parcells was coaching. So…if the Cowboys weren’t on there was no football in the house. Apparently, this coincided with CB being around.

Last night the Cowboys were playing and CB decided to watch it with me. First play of the game and she’s jumping off the couch yelling, “Daddy! Daddy! That man is going to the bathroom!”

Needless to say, I was lost. I couldn’t figure out what she was talking about. A few plays later and she explains it to me. The offensive line was in a squatting position, as linemen are wont to do. She thought they had “assumed the position” She was particularly worried about the Quarterback whom she was sure was getting pooped on.

She knows who the current leader is in the Fed-Ex Points Race, and she can tell you the difference between Stuart Appleby and Robert Allenby, something PaPa still has problems with. However, when it comes to football I think it’s my duty to broaden her horizons, culturally speaking.

Never Too Early to Dream

And a golf course is a great place to dream.

“No, no big-sis, it’s about a ball out to the left, firm.”


Giving lessons, an interesting proposition. Probably best summed up as the irresistible force against the immovable object. Daddy convinced CB will do it my way, and CB absolutely certain that her way is the best. Although, I think it was about this age that my dad said he quit trying to give me tips. The saga continues.

Concentration – I’m getting CB to work on this early. The one thing that drives me nuts about professional golfers, is the fact that if a camera flashes 4 fairways over it’s a cardinal sin punishable by death. Not so with me. I grew up playing with older brothers that were always busy commenting on your backswing, usually about how bad your swing looked, or coughing, talking, laughing, etc…


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CB is learning early. Although, I think Uncle Billy may have put her up to the tap dancing bit.

All in all, a great day. Hopefully, the beginning of many good memories to come for the Havens’ clan on the course. And MK learned one very important lesson. One of the most dangerous hazards on the course. Not the OB left, or the trees on the right. Nope, the one affliction that affects golfers all around the world.

Staying too long at the 19th hole.