Sunday, March 29, 2009

March Madness Is Real!

Over the years, several people have wondered aloud about what malady will be next to plague modern man. So, I would not be surprised if between reports of West Nile Virus, Bird Flu, SARS, Spanish Influenza, Restless Leg Syndrome, Spinal Meningitis, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C (not to mention the underachieving and lesser known and Hepatitis' D and F) you have neglected to learn about a sickness called March Madness.

Every year, people all over the world stop working and are preternaturally drawn to watching college basketball. This is a force of nature that is magnificent to watch I tell you - it is like spawning salmon or something. It's not like people are watching their alma maters here folks... I mean, I am recovering from a bout of March Madness myself. I watched games involving teams like Western Kentucky, Radford and Robert Morris College. Who knew a college that advertises during the Jerry Springer Show had one of the 64 best basketball teams in the nation?. I screamed myself hoarse watching a Villanova game. I even sunk so low as to watch KU play a game - barf!

CBS has done a great job of capitalizing on this affliction. They broadcast games on their station and stream every game online. You know, to help the sickly who need more basketball to get better. Also, they have an ingenious "Boss button" on their website, so if you decide to go into work while battling March Madness, you can conceal your problem. You press the "Boss button" and a fake Excel spreadsheet opens covering the game you were sneaking in on company time.

This year, Rachel and I got pretty into the NCAA tournament. Our team, the Missouri Tigers, made a valiant run to the Elite 8. My brother Mike, who is staying with us, had never seen the tournament before. So, we started a bracket with Mike and six other friends. The winner gets to choose where we all go out to dinner. Currently, Rachel is in the lead - but I sense a choke coming on... her Champion Team, Pittsburgh, lost last night. We will see if her lead holds up.

In the meantime, we are just under a week from our next appointment. On Friday we will have new sonograms of the twins and more pregnancy related info. For now, enjoy the belly progress pic of Rachel. Even though the Tigers are eliminated from the tournament, she refuses to take that Tiger Tail off. It was not too bad until she wore it to church. It made communion just plain weird.

Names we ruled out while watching the NCAA Tournament this week - DuJuan, DayQuan, DeMarre, and Hasheem.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


So birds gather twigs and leaves and sometimes those plastic things from the top of a six pack of cola and make a nest for their babies. Sometime throughout history, if I remember correctly from high school health class it was in 846 A.D, a woman saw a birds nest and decided it looked cozy. Then evolution took over, and from that time forward all women naturally flock to Babies 'R' Us (which was not nearly as cool back in the dark ages) and make a sort of nest before their babies come. They pick out cribs and test drive strollers and mostly buy stuff men and man-birds do not think children need. They paint stuff too - women, not birds. Actually, I guess birds can't paint because they have no thumbs and also aren't welcome at the paint counter at Home Depot. However, come to think of it, I have seen birds paint in cartoons before. I should probably no longer base my perception of reality on cartoons.

Anyway, Rachel took evolution to another level and used her crazy woman brain to concoct a plan to make me nest for her. She complained of paint fumes being bad for kids, and then of general tiredness, and thus compelled my silly man-brain to be chivalrous and paint for her. However, all things being equal, I then used my natural instinct to boss my younger brother Mike to help me paint, and we got it done faster. Now, the babies room is yellow.

Also, the nesting instinct took hold in Rachel's mom, Judy. Judy flew into town (I also don't think Grandmother birds do this, but I have also seen this in cartoons. I guess this is yet another reason not to trust cartoons) to paint some crafty mural on the wall. I wanted a grandiose jungle scene complete with pumas and monkeys and Rachel wanted something slightly smaller. I'll let you all see the pictures to see who won that battle. Also, Rachel abandoned her paint fumes excuse just in time to sit and watch her mom paint. She said something about it being "craft paint" and thus not going to hurt the children. I think she told me she read that in a baby book - but I think she probably tricked me. Anyway, Judy did a great job and the room is starting to take shape. It still doesn't look like a nest though. I guess I should bring home some of those plastic things from the top of a six pack.

Everybody's 28 Somehow

I turned 28 last week and celebrated by taking a week off from posting on the blog. Just kidding, I have actually been very busy both at work and at home this week. However, due to the negative feedback from not posting for nearly two weeks, I will post two, count 'em, two blog posts tonight. Please forgive the tardiness and pretend you read this post one week ago.

Happy birthday to me - I wanna run (pronounced "ruuuun"). This year Jacksonville's annual River Run was on my birthday. Since I am not much of a birthday guy, I decided there was no better way to celebrate than to punish my body for growing old by running 9.3 miles with several thousand other people.

I last ran the River Run three years ago, and back then I trained for it mercilessly. But then two years ago I didn't get to participate because I was gone on my deployment overseas. Last year Rachel and I trained for the River Run, but then I got extended overseas again and didn't return from Italy until the night before the race. I was too jet-lagged to get up the next morning and run. This year, I decided to run the race without training. If nothing else it would be a good study to see how much worse I ran than three years ago. Astonishingly, 28 year-old Billy kept pace with 25-year-old Billy throughout the whole race. In fact, I finished the race in 1 hour and 20 minutes, about 1 minute faster than I ran it three years ago. I guess I am growing older and better (but apparently less modest, huh?).

As was the case three years ago, Brett and Natalie Loucks ran the race with me. However, Rachel had to sit on the sidelines this year on account of Red and Lellow. Natalie's sister Nicola came from Atlanta to run with Nat, while Rachel and my brother Mike watched the Louck's baby Tessa. This is a picture of Rachel saving Tessa from a rabid alligator that got loose at the race. I guess those maternal instincts have already kicked in.

Post-race, as I was cringing and complaining about my old-man knees and wobbly back, Rach and I figured out that the whole darn Klug Crew was 28 now. I had caught Rachel in years (she turned 28 back in September), Tyson is four people years making him 28 in dog years, and the twins are a combined 28 weeks. Rachel baked us all a birthday brownie for the post-race celebration. I wanted to make it a 28 only party, thus excluding Mike from having any brownies and ice cream, but Rachel gave him some anyway.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ten Million Strong.... and Growing!

For those of you that don't know, Rachel ditched her normal pre-natal vitamins a few weeks ago. They were giving her some nausea, and as an added bonus made her breath smell like a cross between fish and stinky feet. Although I grew accustomed to pinching my nose when I puckered up to kiss her, she could not get used to the side effects. So, we called the doctor and they told us that she could switch to Flintstones Chewable children's vitamins.

The next day I went to the store to pick some up. As I did I recalled fond memories of chomping those suckers down as a kid and fighting with my sisters over who got to eat Dino. I'm proud to report that purple still is the best flavor. Anyway, Rachel's switch to the new vitamins got rid of the side effects, and also coincided with a growth spurt. So, feel free to sing along with "Red" and "Lellow" to the old jingle of the Flintstones vitamins as you read this. Enjoy the pic.

"We are Flintstones Kids... Ten million strong... and growing!"

Also, I had a tough weekend of tests in Gainesville for my masters degree classes. So, in honor of my finishing the tests and not passing out from the brain strain, here is a picture of me having fun at school... I mean studying.

Names ruled out this week: Beyonce and Apple (although Banana remains on the list)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Dual Doppler

Thanks to all the contestants that have sent in womb name proposals for our kids. Rachel and I plan on choosing a winning pair in the near future. For those of you who have resisted the urge to send in proposals, please do so soon. The leading candidates right now are from my nephew Ezra, who thinks the R and L names should be "Red" and "Lellow" (he has a bit of trouble with words that start with Y, but that's OK because he is three and awesome).
No real news this week in the Klug house. The twins are riding safe and sound in Rachel's belly region. We did not get to see them this week, but we did get to hear them on Tuesday. We had an appointment with our Obstetrician, Dr. Kim-Aschi, who used a neat little Doppler machine to let us hear the babies. For my Jacksonville homies, it beat the heck out of Tim Deegan's dual Doppler on First Coast News. We heard both of their hearts beating. One of them, I think it was Red, was jumping a bit, and it sounded like an effect from a Mario Brothers video game. I tried to listen using my human ears when I got home, but all I heard was Rachel's dinner of spaghetti pie rumbling around in there.
Completely changing subjects... I've been thinking lately about the rapid changes babies make. Our friends Natalie and Brett's daughter, Tessa, took her first step tonight. One of our God-sons, Jackson, turns one next month and has a head of hair that reminds me of a do-wop singer from the 1950's. Our other God-son, Kaileb, is nearing five months old and I think he can already ride a two-wheeler. My point is this; I know I don't have long to wait for that first haircut, first word, first corn-dog, first date... Tonight, when I lay down I will pray that I remember to cherish the time with which Rachel and I have been blessed. I will ask that it not pass so quickly that I one day ask where it all went. And I will thank God for blessing me with the gift of Rachel and our twins.
And now, the two names we have ruled out this week for the twins... Adolf and Rudolf.