Sunday, May 31, 2009


It’s about time that I make known to the world how wonderful my husband is…

As I approach 26 long weeks of pregnancy (that’s 6 and ½ months for those of you that don’t like doing the math), I see myself slowly but surly spiraling downward out of control of my own body. I can no longer tie my shoes without help, or some very serious effort. I can no longer stand on my feet for more than an hour without NEEDING to sit down. I can no longer walk… I waddle. My dog thinks I’m a useless whale that won’t play with him anymore. My hips hurt. My legs cramp. I have spider veins popping up in places that I can see, and in places that I can no longer see due to my overgrown belly. I’m having an awful time trying to pack up 6 years of teaching into boxes that will come home to my already crowed house, just to sit in storage until the day I say I need to go back to work!!! Needless to say, pregnancy is taking its toll. The scary part is, when I have time to sit down and think about it, I realize, I still have quite a few more weeks of this left. How much worse can it get??? Ahhhhhhhhh!

On the flip side, there is this part of my life that just gets better by the day. A part that I thought was already as good as it gets. That part’s name is Billy. He is an amazing husband of which words can not do justice. He has always been my rock. He has always been my soul mate. He has always been a loving, nurturing, gentle, caring, thoughtful, and witty, man. But lately, in my time of need, he sure has stepped it up about 500 notches. If it sounds like I’m bragging, I am. Despite his one flaw of being a Cubs fan, he is the best of the best. (And I don’t tell him enough.)

As I stated earlier, this week was a rough one. The final days of school are drawing near and there is a lot of physical and mental labor left for teachers in the last few weeks. On Friday I hit my breaking point when the teacher moving into my classroom started bringing her stuff in for storage before I had my things moved out. I wanted it done as much as she did, but given my “condition” I could not move very fast. It seemed like at lightning speed kids were coming with boxes, and boxes, and boxes. I played it cool for a while, but then I had to break down and call Billy. Without question he asked to leave work early and was there ready to help. I felt like Kate (from John and Kate plus eight) just barking at him and telling his where to put things, what to pack, what to set aside. Did he complain once? NO. In fact, at 5:30 when we finally got home I found myself in tears. I waddled my butt as quickly as possible to the bed to put myself on mandatory bed-rest only to find a package… on his way home Billy had stopped to pick up the best thing for helping a Prego sleep… “The Total Body Boppy Pillow”… total heaven. I melted. I had been complaining about wanting this for a while. As I laid down to snuggle with “total heaven”, tears were streaming, and I thought to myself… How much better can it get???

BK – I love you! Thanks for everything that you do for me! God sure knew what he was doing when he put you in my life.

PS - If you don’t recognize that girl in the wedding picture, it’s me… I WANT MY BODY BACK!!!!!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dog Days

So, Rachel and Billy are pretty busy tonight, and neglecting me as usual. So, I decided to hop online and update the blog they have also been neglecting. This is Tyson, by the way... You know, the dog.

Anyway, we've had a pretty uneventful week around here. It rained for, like, 49 straight days! Well, dog days that is. It was 7 straight people days of rain. That made for a pretty boring week for me. Not a whole lot of walks or trips to the park to chase tennis balls. However, some cool things did happen though. I found half a hamburger bun and a piece of bubble gum on one of the few walks I did take. I also caught and ate two lizards in the backyard. The rest was pretty typical stuff - rubbed my ears on some dead worms, licked the carpet, squeaked some chew toys, barked at kids on skateboards. Oh, I also Tivo-ed the finale of American Idol! Just kidding, dogs don't do Tivo. But I did read about the winner online. Is it just me, or is Paula Abdul getting weirder and weirder by the day. I mean, I'm not even one of those drug dogs, and I can smell the Vodka and painkillers on her breath every time I see a picture of her. And I love that Ryan Seacrest's sign off line. Very clever, no? Anyway, I digress...

So, as you would expect, Rachel and the babies are growing. Here is a picture Billy took this weekend that I stole off the camera. I'm sure he won't mind me posting the picture. I mean, what man in his right mind would get upset about someone stealing a picture of his wife and posting it to the Internet without his knowledge?

This weekend, Billy and Rachel finished cleaning out the closet in the baby room. In doing so, they completely blocked off my favorite chair. Thanks a lot guys. Other than that, I guess I am pretty excited about the kids getting here. I know it will mean more responsibility for me - no more licking myself whenever I want, no more humping legs or barking late at night when Billy and I are play wrestling. But, on the upside, my friend Lucci tells me she gets all kinds of scraps from her baby sister Tessa's plate. I can almost taste the macaroni and cheese and the chicken nuggets now.

I know how all of you like pictures, so I tried to get some for the post. Here is me trying to figure out the timer on this new camera Billy and Rachel bought. I wasn't able to figure it out, so instead I got Rachel to put this Memorial Day scarf on me and Billy to take a picture of it. I usually don't condone dressing animals up like people, but I went all out for my first ever blog post.

All right, my paws are getting tired of typing, but before I go I wanted to stick with tradition and drop some names that should not be given to the twins. As a dog, I am concerned with Billy and Rachel giving the kids any names that rhyme with words I know. So, let's get rid of any names that might rhyme with Pizza, Walk and Park. And as for celebrities naming kids after foods, that is just plain dumb. Gwyneth Paltrow named her kid "Apple." I mean, for heaven's sake, if you are going to name your child after a food, at least make it a good food, like Peanut Butter, Cheerios or Steak. You guys all have a great week, woof at ya' soon, Wolfgang, out!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Going Going Gone

If you are familiar with the game of baseball, you are likely familiar with home run calls. The soundtrack of my youth was Harry Caray screaming, "Holy Cow" belligerently into the microphone every time a Cubs player hit a round-tripper. Other famous broadcasters had signature tag lines to be sure, but the majority of generic home run calls are something along the lines of, "Long fly ball, this one is going... going... gone!" Well, this afternoon as I listened to the Cubs game on the Internet, I got the chance (read: was forced) to clean out the closet in the babies room. As the Cubs kept me company, I scrounged through a closet packed floor to ceiling with things that were once found important enough to keep (read: junk).

I actually did keep a few things, like our Christmas tree holder and Tyson's Halloween costumes. There was a the box of old pictures from Rachel and my youth. Most shots would have been instantly erased had digital cameras been around at the time. However, there were a few rarities that made me evoke Harry Caray and say, "Holy Cow," like the picture of our friend Jenna doing the splits or my four high school ID cards.

However, most of the stuff I came across were more standard home run calls. There were six super ceded Naval manuals, a small collection of Homies figurines, and a cassette tape of Paula Abdul's Forever Your Girl album that I may or may not have stolen from my older sister approximately 18 years ago. All said items made like a long, fly ball and are now gone.

I felt no remorse getting rid of most of the stuff. That was, until I was lying in bed last night. All day I had been trying to remember why I kept a beer bottle full of sand in my closet five years ago. I have been to numerous countries and beaches, and while sorting through the closet I could not identify the sand's origins. I finally did, around two a.m, remember where it came from. It was from a beach in Mexico I visited with a group of college friends. We met a taxi driver in Cozumel. He helped us escape the masses that had just rushed off of our cruise ship, and took us to an undisturbed, white sand beach. We spent the afternoon getting sunburned in our own private paradise, drinking a Mexican beer we had never heard of before. It was a memory I treasured and I felt terrible for getting rid of the bottle.

However, once morning came I regarded the bottle in a new light. Sure the bottle helped me remember that wonderful afternoon, but it had served it's time and needed to go. The items that will replace it in the closet, onesies and burp clothes, Bumpo chairs and baby gates, will also one day have to go. I will never own a closet big enough to hold all of the things I will accumulate in this life. What am I talking about, I will never own a closet big enough to hold all of Rachel's clothes and shoes. Even though I had to throw away the bottle and all the other things, I never have to purge them from my memories.

The memories I hold sacred today will most certainly have to move over soon. But, luckily, there are no physical constraints on our brains the way there is in our homes. I'm glad I got to see the bottle and the sand one more time but like the baseball announcer who called the home run, I must move on. The game, and life, moves on.

Of course, there are the few home run balls that are kept as mementos for future use... Jenna, have you ever heard of blackmail?

Here is the belly pic everyone has been pining for; Rachel at 24 weeks. She is more beautiful with every passing day, which is good because she is also increasingly irritable and uncomfortable as well. School's out in a mere three weeks, and she can't wait to be off her feet for more of the day.

Names I ruled out while listening to baseball and cleaning the closet - Chuey, Auggie, Pudge and Barbie.


It seems that every time Rachel and I get to see our families is around the holidays. Usually we get home for New Years and Easter. Family has come to Florida to visit us on the 4th of July and Thanksgiving. However, last year we didn't get to go home for Christmas due to our pending medical schedule. So, when Rachel's older sister Christine came to town last week, it almost felt like a holiday, so... Merry Chris-Miss Ya'll.

I even got the day off work on Friday for Chris-Miss 2009. On Thursday we took Chris to a favorite restaurant of ours, The Brick. Following dinner we sat at Biscotti's and enjoyed some of the best desserts in Jax as the sun set.

On Friday, I went and worked at the PGA tournament that was in town, The Player's Championship. I worked on the driving range shagging, washing and sorting golf balls. I got to walk on the prestigious course and almost drove Tiger Woods around on a golf cart. Of course, Rachel and Chris had no interest in hanging out at the course, so they went to St. Augustine and hit the outlet stores instead. Chris bought clothes... Rachel bought Garlic Bites. Tell me there is no such thing as pregnancy cravings.

Then on Saturday Rachel and Chris headed to the Broadway Musical Wicked, which was stopping through Jacksonville. They enjoyed the singing witches and were scared by the flying monkeys. And get this (spoiler alert): The Wicked Witch isn't really wicked. I guess she just has low blood sugar... or was angry that city council raised property taxes, or something. OK, I stopped paying attention to Rachel when she was telling me about the show - but in my defense, I was picturing flying monkeys in a live theater. Pretty cool, huh?

OK, belly pics coming soon, so stay tuned. In honor of The Player's Championship and Wicked, here are some names we will not be naming our kids... Henrick, Glenda, Eldrick (Tiger) and Elphaba.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Magic Trick

I usually try to put in a little personal observation or funny anecdote at the beginning of the blog posts. This time, as a not-so wise Nihilist once said, "No funny stuff, (Lebowski)." Straight to business...

During our recent visit to ROC, we made sure the first thing that the tech looked at was Red's head, to see if we could find any remnants or growth in the cyst that was found a month ago. Just as the doctor predicted, Red had performed a magic trick made the cyst vanish. The most plausible explanation is that it was an odd stage of the development of the brain, and we just caught it at the right time to get a return. But, since a magician never reveals how they do their trick, we shall never know for sure. Anyway, Rachel and I were mighty relieved and able to sit back and enjoy the show.

And good news for us, the kids were up for a performance. As the sonogram tech tried to get a picture of Lellow's face, a certain someones fanny kept popping into the frame. It took about ten tries, but finally the nurse was able to get this awesome profile shot. Red wasn't done foolin' around either. When the nurse went to get pics of Red, the little guy turned the back of his head to the equipment several times, as if to say, "Look Mom, no cysts!" over and over again. There was plenty of pushing and shoving going on in there too. Just when it looked to us as if Red was the aggressor, Lellow's toes popped up near Red's chin. I think they are both holding their own in there.

Our nurse this time, just as our friend Jamie predicted, was much better. Sticking with the alliterative nicknames from last time, Rachel called her Happy Helen. I would say she was at least a Chipper Chelsea. She was very fun and super nice to Rachel, which made the experience much more fun. Also, she told us that next time we come, we can bring a DVD and record the sonogram free of charge. So, next month I will post some video and let you all see the crazy in-uterus wrestling action that is going on in there.

For the stat fans, here is the tale of the tape from Friday's visit:
Heartbeat - Red 141 bps, Lellow 148 bps
Weight - Red 1 lb 2 oz, Lellow, 15 oz
Percentile - Red 57th, Lellow 48th
Fingers - Red 10, Lellow 10
Toes - Red 10, Lellow 10
Pictures of Feet- Red 0, Lellow 1
Eager, Happy Parents - Red 2, Lellow 2

Finally, in order to prevent our children from exposure to swine flu, we nixed two more names this week. In the mass hysteria that accompanies our pandemics, we figured you can never be too safe, so we will not name our children names that could be mistaken for piglets. - Red and Lellow, you will not be named Phineas nor Charlotte.