Saturday, April 25, 2009

Alright Already!

During a sporting event, it's pretty obvious when the crowd turns on a player. Usually it starts with some crazed fan chanting something, and ends with an entire stadium repeating the entire thing. If they are in a city filled with dumb people, like maybe Cincinnati, they will just yell, "boo" at the top of their lungs. If they are in a town filled with smarty-pants, like Columbia, Missouri, they will actually chant words, like this... "AIR-BAAAALLLLL, AIR BAAAALLLLL." If they are in Chicago, they end up attacking the person, like at Comiskey Park where an umpire got mobbed for a bad call. They are just as ruthless at Wrigley, where a fan bum-rushed pitcher Bobby Howry on the mound two seasons ago.

Well, I am no dummy. I can hear the chants starting around this blog-dom (I just made that up. It's like a kingdom, but for a blog). After the last posting, there was some idle chatter from our friend Nicole, who posted a response of, "belly pic!" Then, another friend called to cite the lack of belly pictures in the last posting. Finally, things hit the roof last night when someone called me from an unlisted number and just started chanting, "BELL-LY PIC, BELL-LY PIC" at the top of their lungs. They were probably drunk, and would have bum-rushed me had we lived in the same town or were attending a sporting event in Chicago!

So, without further ado, here is my attempt at redemption: Rachel at 20 weeks. I have mockingly told everyone who has asked me this week that Rachel is "blowin' up." We are patiently waiting for her to start feeling the babies move around in there. It is clear they are getting bigger, so it should just be a matter of time before they're kicking her in the ribs and knocking their heads against her belly button.

The next doctors appointment is Monday. We'll be meeting the new doctor who will be delivering us at Baptist's. I am not sure if we get some more pictures of Red and Lellow or not, but rest assured that I will post them if we do.
This week, in honor of those two-syllable names that people like to chant at sporting events (chant along at home if you like), here are some names that we will not be naming our kids: Manny, Barry, Mya, and Tammy

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

World Reunion Tour

Have you ever noticed how some bands get together every decade or so, usually when the lead singer is broke or sober, and put on some grandiose tour around the nation. They hit all the old haunts, have a good time, and then disappear again into old age or obscurity. Well, Rachel and I had a reunion tour, of sorts, in the past few weeks. We hit our old hometowns of St. Louis, Chicago and San Antonio over two weeks, meeting up with friends and family and having a great time. Usually the bands will put out some sort of live album to commemorate their tour. However, I only know how to play the clarinet and Rachel sings like Peter Brady going through puberty, so our album would not sell. Instead, Rachel and I decided to make a photo slideshow of the trip (with captions to help explain).

Rachel and I took Red and Lellow to their first baseball
game on Opening Day in St. Louis. It was a beautiful day for
a game, 26 degrees in the wind and humid. The twins
thought they would like the Cards based on their womb
names, but the Cardinals blew a late lead, and Red
and Lellow decided they would rather be Cubs fans.
Rachel, her sister Chris and I made the Italian favorite
Gnocchi. It consists of potato mush, flour, and probably
some other stuff Chris added while I was goofing off.
The food was served at Rachel's Great Aunt Irma's wake.
Irma, you were loved greatly and you will be missed.
One of our favorite parts of the trip was getting
to know our friends Jenna and Karl's daughter
Layna's alter ego, "Super Naked Baby." Her super
power is making clothes disappear and pajamas
appear. It usually happens right around bedtime.
Rachel and I got to tour Chris and Bob's new bar and
grill, Hessler's. It was awesome and the food was great.
So, if you happen to be in South County St. Louis,
you should go to Hessler's and drink a beer with Bob.
This is a picture of me listening to my grandfather/ namesake.
He was probably telling me a story about how the twins
will be Cubs fans.
Here is Mike and Rachel relaxing at Grandpa's house.
I'm not sure if it is a lighting trick, but I can almost see
Rachel's pregnancy glow in this shot. It looks like a blue
halo. Oh, nevermind, I think that is one of those toilet donuts.
This is us with the Klug family at our Godson Kaileb's
baptism. He is the good lookin' bald one in the middle
front. You may not be able to tell from there, but he
had the coolest white suit I have ever seen. I wish I
could have worn one just like it to prom.
Here we are with the Finck family the next day,
Easter Sunday. You will notice that Blue, the cat, is
in the picture while Mom Finck is conspicuously missing.
I posted this one because the picture Blue took with Mom
Finck in it didn't come out too well.
While we were gone, we got a call that Tyson had fleas. He
was suffering from itching and red swollen bites, and not
rocking out on awesome bass guitar riffs, so I deduced that it
was probably the flea on the left. Big thanks to Pat and Kat
for taking care of our sick dog while we toured the US.

We went with our friends Pickle and Jill to the Alamo. Well,
actually we went to the Alamo Cafe. But, just like the
Alamo it had no basement. Also just like the Alamo
they had terrific pancakes. Oh, nevermind, apparently
The Alamo is not remembered for pancakes.

Here is Rachel enjoying the first Non-Alcoholic beer of her
life. She told me it tasted just like the real thing, but I
tried it... it tasted like someone had spilled an almost empty
beer into a glass of river water. Barf!

The reason we went to San Antonio in the first place in fact
was not to eat Alamo pancakes, but to attend our friends Mike
and Maria's wedding. Rachel and I actually set Mike and Maria
up about five years ago. Look at 'em now, eh!
Finally, after the wedding Rachel and I settled down for
some good old fashioned wedding reception crashing. You may not
notice, but I found a neon pink sombrero in the hallway
at the reception hall. I decided to try to pose like one
of those old Mexican portraits from the 1800s too. Yep,
crazy as it sounds, Rachel still thinks I am adult enough to be a dad.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday I'm In Love

It took a while to get here, but the day Rachel and I had been waiting for finally arrived today. We got to see our babies again. It has been four long weeks since our last appointment, which probably does not seem long to normal couples. But to us, a couple who had to be monitored every three days, it was an eternity. I was as giddy as a child on Christmas morning when I woke up today. Also, with it being Friday, I had post-title/Cure song stuck in my head all morning. Rachel, with her nerves of steel, had a tummy ache which I believe to be anxiety induced.

We both took the entire day off of work today for our round of two appointments. Our first appointment was at ROC, which specializes in high-risk prenatal care. They performed ultrasound scans on the children for about 20-25 minutes. The results of which I can tell you are:

1. Lellow is 7 oz. now, Red is 8.

2. Lellow's heart rate was 159, Red's was 153.

Based upon facts 1 and 2, I am now more convinced than ever that Lellow will be a svelte, speedy outfielder type and Red will be a lovable, possibly portly catcher. But, I digress...

3. They are both in the normal range for all anatomical factors, including but not limited to arm and leg length, head size, heart rate, weight and awesomeness.

4. I confess, they did not have a machine to measure their awesomeness, but it was apparent.

Also, I convinced the extremely unenthusiastic nurse to label their sonogram pictures Red and Lellow instead of A and B. I am fairly certain that the only reason she did it was to prevent me from talking anymore about how they arrived at those two "womb" names. The picture with Red's name on it looks as though he is wearing a Halloween mask, so I didn't post it. The nurse did determine the sex of the twins, but luckily I reminded her that we didn't want to know. I can't imagine how lame it would have been to find out the sex from Monotone Mary the nurse anyway.

Nurse: "This one's a boy."
Rachel: (tearing up) "I knew it, oh my gosh, I'm so happy..."
Billy: (holding Rachel's hand and smiling at the screen) "A boy... This is so cool..."
Nurse: "Yeah, whatever, please hold still (yawn)... I have eight other patients to get through before I can finish my sudoku puzzle."

After Debbie Downer the nurse left the room, Rachel decided she had not seen enough of the kiddos. She took matters into her own hands and snuck some extra sonogram shots. Although it was fun to break the rules, I can see now why they don't sell sonogram machines to the public (you know, besides the prohibitively high cost and all). It was kind of like watching a scrambled cable channel... I think I saw an elbow, but it might have been a close-up of a placenta. Also, we think we saw one of the babies spines but it might have been that Cheeto Rachel accidentally swallowed whole on Tuesday. Either way, Rachel needs to stick to teaching because sonogram tech is simply not a good career choice for her.

Once the doctor arrived, our fun got a bit dampened. We were informed that there is a small cyst on or near Red's brain. Before we could sound the alarm for pregnancy scare number two, the doctor informed us that he thinks it is nothing serious and should disappear before our next visit in four weeks. He based this on the fact that Red is active and measures absolutely fine in all other tests.

Later in the afternoon, we had our second appointment. This one was with Rachel's OB/GYN, or should I say former OB/GYN. Our decision to change doctor's had nothing to do with Dr. Kim-Aschi, who is a terrific doctor. It was instead spurned by our desire to deliver in a hospital with which she does not work. During our last appointment we learned that Dr. Kim-Aschi intended for us to deliver at Memorial Hospital. We had never been to Memorial, but had heard some poor reports about it from local friends. A few weeks ago, we toured the delivery and recovery wards of Memorial and our originally preferred hospital, Baptist's. After some painstaking thought, Rachel and I decided that we would prefer to deliver at Baptist's, even if it meant changing doctors. Although both Hospitals are highly regarded for great infant care, Baptist's has a superior NICU, which may come in handy should there be any complications during the first few days. Also, we are closer to Baptist's, and Rachel and I know the layout of the hospital and surrounding area well since we had all of our infertility treatments there. So, this afternoon, we broke up with Dr. Kim-Aschi and her clinic, and are off into the great unknown. We will be setting up an appointment with a new clinic next week. I hope our doctor is either a woman or has a mustache.

Well, that's about it for now. The names we ruled out this week are all takes on alcohol. I gave up drinking for Lent this year, and so as a couple, we have decided to abstain from names that are based on booze, such as Tequala, Vidka, Dewars and the ever-popular baby name Willer Lite.