Sunday, November 29, 2009

"Tis The Season Already?

Thanksgiving's over. So is November. That means the year's just about over. This decades pretty much over too. Time speeds by like a jet whizzing past us. Yep, time flies, and so do my in-laws, who took off for home after spending the extended weekend with us here in Florida. Looking back, their trip moved past like a rabbit through the grass. Luckily, I was able to take enough mental snapshots to compose a recap. And so, with my usual flair for music, here's my summary of the weekend. (To the festive tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas)

12 Pounds of turkey,
11 Football games,
10 Hours sleeping,
9 Rollee Pollies,
8 Tiger wins,
7 Wines a-sipping,
6 Micah sirens,
5 Stockings hung,
4 Missed steps,
3 Cracked ribs,
2 "Turtles" loved,
And a fake mini-Christmas tree.

The turkey and football should be self-explanatory. We ate (and much to the chagrin of the women) watched a lot. Malorie has begun bordering on sleeping through the night, hence the ten hours of sleeping. Mal also serves as the inspiration for nine, as she put on a show for Grandpa Bob and Grandma Judy by rolling over for them several times during the trip. Three generations of fans watched the Missouri Tigers football team rack up their eighth win of the season by besting hated rival Kansas in a Saturday matchup. It always feels good to "Screw KU," and now the Tigers will wait and see what Bowl game they'll play in this year. Rachel, her parents and I met our friends Pat, Kat and Erin at a wine tasting on Friday. Bob was most impressed with the Cabernet of the seven wines. Micah was impressed by Pat's mother, who was in town for the holiday and held him the entire time we sampled the wines. Micah also rings in at six with the number of times he cries per day, one at the beginning and one in the middle of each of his three naps. His adorable Beavis and Butthead "Huh-Huh-Huh" cry is now long gone, replaced by "The Siren," a cry that is loud, shrill, and goes, "WEEE-oooooh, WEEE-oooooh" for what seems like days at a time. During the break Rachel hung five stockings over the mantel and put up one Christmas tree next to it, thus beginning our first Christmas season as parents.

You may have noticed I skipped a few numbers. That is because song numbers four and three make a whole story unto themselves. Last Saturday, at Rachel's behest, her father agreed to hang our Christmas lights. As he was retrieving the box of lights from the attic, he missed a rung in the ladder and crashed to the garage floor, cracking three ribs. As if the fall and cracks weren't enough, Rachel and her mother then decided to try home remedies for Bob's pain. They gave him a painkiller - the one Rachel was prescribed to dull the pain of her recent Ceasarean Section. Instead of dulling the pain, the prescription medication had a reaction with Bob's blood pressure meds, causing nausea, light headedness and headaches. After a trip to urgent care, Bob's weekend was ruined, as he was forced to spend the rest of the trip recouperating on our couch. Fortunately he was well enough to travel home, where he is taking the week off of work to recover. Dad, we are thinking and praying for you each night, and hope you feel a lot better soon.

Finally, I saved the number two to ensure a happy ending to my post about time flying. Thirty years ago, Rachel and her sister Christine were babies like Micah and Malorie. Their parents, Bob and Judy, enjoyed the phase Rachel and I are currently experiencing, where the babies are beginning to lay on their stomachs and look aound. Bob nicknamed his girls "turtles," for the way their bald little heads would stretch up and peer around the room. The highlight of my weekend was watching Bob and Judy rekindle their love affair for "turtles" through my children. As much as I wonder and complain about where the time goes so quickly, I loved watching thirty years melt away from my mother and father-in-law as they played with Micah and Mal. Here's to hoping that this holiday season, time moves more like turtles than a rabbit or a jet.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


This Thanksgiving I have more to be thankful for than ever before. The addition of Micah and Malorie to our household has been a tremendous blessing. Words could never describe how awe stuck I am at the gifts I have been given, yet I thank God each night as I lay down to sleep as if they could. As I lay down tonight, these are the things I will thank God for giving me:

Rachel, the most wonderful woman I ever met, who God somehow saw just to make my wife. Micah and Malorie, the twin babies that were nothing more than a hopeful prayer at this time last year. Tyson, the pain in the butt howling dog that somehow weaseled his way into my heart. Family; my amazing parents, grandfather, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, the Fincks and my extended family. Many people in this world claim they have no family. I proudly boast the opposite, I have a great big family. The safety and security that our Armed Forces provide, and to the brave men and women towing the line tonight so I can lay here in comfort. For shelter, love, ability, the gift of flight and all the menial possessions I claim as my own - I am thankful. For the down days, times spent in anger, frustration, envy, fear, worry and doubt I am still thankful, because they allow me to keep perspective on how truly blessed I am.

I will give thanks tonight for all that, and then pray I'm never foolish enough to overlook the bounty I have been given. Then I will pray that those out there who lack these gifts will one day feel the way I do tonight. Happy Thanksgiving all - and I miss your pie Mom.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Headline Surfing

Often lately I have found myself in a pinch for time. I have not had ample time to do all the things I used to do, such as keeping current on current events. Instead of reading newspapers and magazines like I used to do, filling my mind with facts and opinions, I now partake in what I like to call headline surfing. I take five minutes to review the headlines of several different websites, learning all that I can from the fragmented, attention grabbing titles of the articles I used to read. That way, I may not have the whole story, but I at least remain aware of the latest happenings with government (health care bill through the house), sports (Bears still suck) and fellow multiples parents Jon and Kate (apparently she has a new haircut and he is starting a rock and roll band). So, in honor of my new news gathering techniques, here is the Klug Crew version of headline surfing, with all the notable news of the past two weeks in headline form.

US News
Gallup Poll: Average Klug Kid Nap Time Increasing in Duration
Dog Barks at Doorbusters, Bell Ringers Alike

Malorie Maintains Growth Climb - Now in 25th Percentile for Weight
CDC Report: Parents 75% Vaccinated Against Flu

Princess Malorie Refuses to Cede Control of Late Nights - Sanctions Likely
Treasury Secretary: "Babies are Freakin' Expensive!"

Aunt Chris Returns to Florida, New Wardrobe for Twins
Twins on Thanksgiving Travel: "No Thanks!"

Micah Rolls to Redemption, Matches Sister's Feats
Heavyweight - M.J. Klug Goes Up a Weight Class For Next Fight

Twins Seen Partying Two Fridays in a Row
Jumperoo Toy Bounces into Homes Just in Time for Holidays

Headline surfing doesn't have all the fun features of a traditional newspaper - no classifieds, coupons, commentary articles or that Family Circle comic where you follow the dotted line to see everywhere Jeffy has been. However, you can all feel free to leave your comments as letters to the editor if you choose. Oh, and here are some pictures, because every good journalist knows that if your story is short on words, you had better put a big picture to fill the space the editor assigned.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My New Favorite Band

Growing up, my father was in a band. He toured the central Midwest and played Country and Western shows on weekends, earning the adolation of his son, who naturally named his father's band Desperado as his favorite. As I grew older and more rebellious, I immersed myself in Alternative Rock, soaking up late nineties bands like Guster, Bush and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. I spent time in college as a radio disc jockey and got to meet some of my new favorite bands and get a paycheck for doing what I love: listening to music. However, these days my music is mostly shared with my kids via my Ipod. I'm sure that one day they too will rebel against their father's music, and probably end up liking something other than what I like (Please not Nickleback... They can like Celine Dion, Jonas Brothers, Shakira, whatever, just please don't let my kids grow up to like Nickleback). But for now, they seem to be having fun with me. Here is a video of Malorie rocking and rolling, and Micah singing a song for his mom. Their talent level may not be on par with Von Trapps or the Partridge Family, but the kids new musical acts have earned them the title of my new favorite band.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Our Trip to Jacksonville

Did you know there is a "Lebanon," Missouri? Or that Baja California is not actually in California? I know of three distinct Aurora's, one in Illinois, one in Colorado and one in Missouri. And I think there is a town called Springfield in just about every state in our union. So, it should come as no surprise that there are multiple Jacksonville's out there. However, despite my geography knowledge that would make Mr. Rand McNally himself blush, I still find it ironic that the first time the twins leave Jacksonville on a trip, that they should end up in Jacksonville... North Carolina.

This past weekend I was invited to be the Re-enlisting Officer for my brother-in-law Nick, who serves as a Corpsman at Camp LeJuene in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Rachel and I decided that we would make this occasion a dry run for our Christmas trip to St. Louis and try taking the twins on an airplane. I must admit I had some serious trip trepidation, but I'm happy to report that the excursion went much better than we anticipated.

The twins ate four meals in airports or on planes, and did not vomit on any unsuspecting travellers. They didn't annoy the other passengers by crying on the planes, although Mal did whimper for a while. No one gave Rachel angry, naughty or even interested looks when she nursed Micah in public; mostly people just minded their own business. The only negative experience was when a flight attendant had to separate Rachel and me on the second leg of the trip. The plane we rode in was tiny and only had three emergency oxygen masks per row, and so our family of four had to split up between two rows. However, the flight attendant whose head was already in the clouds moved me to a row next to a woman in a flu mask who apparently had some terrible variant of the whooping cough. Within seconds of me sitting down next to the human H1N1 virus, Rachel was yelling for the flight attendant to move me again. Luckily there was another woman one row up from my new seat that switched me. Apparently she was either blinded by Malorie's cuteness or was a danger seeker, because I am pretty sure that she is now bedridden with some terrible malady.
Once we arrived in North Carolina's Jacksonville, the real fun began as Micah and Malorie met their 13 month old cousin Kaileb for the first time. Kaileb is at exactly the right age to be curious about babies, and so he immediately tried to trade Micah pacifiers. However, coordination at 13 months is not as developed as you would imagine, so Kaileb promptly stuck the offering into Micah's eye instead of his mouth. The next three days were filled with equally hilarious and frightening interactions between the cousins that made us laugh while cringing.

Kaileb is an absolute hoot, the kind of kid you can't help but love, which is a testament to what a fantastic parenting job my sister Katie and her sailor husband Nick are doing. They are faring quite well for themselves, which made me content as a big brother and as a Godfather to Kaileb. As I re-enlisted Nick for another four year tour in the Navy, I swelled with pride for his accomplishments as a sailor, a lifesaver, a husband and a father. Thanks again for the honor of re-enlisting you, Nick.

Finally, I wanted to share a picture of my babies. They are really doing well with the head control, starting to sit in bumpo chairs and smiling a lot more these days. However, I still sometimes think of Micah and Mal as my little Red and Lellow. This outfit coordination was not planned, but the coincidence was noticed. Whether we're in Jacksonville, Florida; Jacksonville, North Carolina; or any of the 50 Springfields out there, I will still associate those two colors with my babes.