Friday, August 29, 2008

Just My Opinion, Vol. 1

A brief word to our readership: The following blog entry is not the fluffy type that you are used to here. It's not the usual daily recap of what we did along with pictures of our girls...

What it is, is my opinion on things going on in the world today. Some of you probably won't agree with it and may want to skip over it. Since I have things I like to rant about (typically to Jeni) I figured I'd just use this as my outlet instead of boring her with it...

So, with that warning... On with the show!

For those of you who don't know me well, I'm a self-proclaimed independent. I don't identify with a particular party on all of the issues. I do proudly say that I never voted for George W. Bush and "I TOLD YOU SO!" to those who discussed politics with me prior to both the 2000 and 2004 elections... I enter every political race with an open mind to both sides and do a ton of research on the candidates before making a decision... As Jeni mentioned in an earlier post, I watch both party's conventions and watch every debate during the presidential election years... I also think it's extremely important to hear all sides and opinions, no matter how biased and skewed, thus I frequently listen to Rush, O'Reilly, Hannity and watch Olbermann. I'm also a frequent reader of online editorials from both conservative and liberal writers.

Anyway, as for today's headline...

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet your Republican VP Candidate.

Ms. Palin is the current governor of the state of Alaska.

Honestly, I have to admit that I had no idea who she was when I first heard rumors of her being chosen as the VP candidate. I had to do some research on her to find out if this boosted the McCain ticket or hurt it....

If you've tuned into the daily political talk shows (like I did) you'd, of course, hear statements like "She's a home run!" "Perfect choice!" "What a great pick!" That coming from folks like Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, and Rush Limbaugh... I haven't heard Hannity yet, but I'm sure there will be more salivating from him as well.

Now, I'm sure Ms. Palin is a fine lady. However, I think that's the one main reason she was selected: She's a lady. As a man, I can only make this statement as a guess: if I were an intelligent woman, I'd be insulted by this pick. If you check out her resume, she's vastly underqualified when compared to others who were supposedly on McCain's short list. You can not honestly tell me that she was the most qualified choice and the best person to step in, God forbid, in a McCain presidency. What would really irk me as a woman, would be that John McCain and the GOP apparently think so little of the intelligence level and symplicity of my gender that they believe that picking a woman, no matter how qualified, would sway me to vote for him.

I really believe that's what's going on with this selection. With the constant pounding of Obama about how he's "not ready to lead" and doesn't have enough experience, McCain basically stated that experience was the #1 criteria to run our country... Then he selects someone who's longest tenure in public office is being on a city council of a town with a population smaller than my hometown of FESTUS! Don't insult my intelligence and tell me she was the most qualified.

Already this morning I've heard the defense that she's the perfect choice for the following reasons:

She's a mother of 5!

She's young!

She's an NRA member!

She's anti-abortion!

Her son is going to Iraq!

She has a child who has Downs Syndrome!

....wait... WHAT? What the heck does that have to do with anything? I actually heard that on nearly every show... They pointed out that her youngest child has Downs Syndrome. Why is that anyone's business?

And the oddest justification came from Laura Ingraham... She actually said that Ms. Palin should have a good understanding of foreign policy because she was the governor of Alaska and Alaska is RIGHT NEXT TO RUSSIA! I didn't make that up.

I know this stuff is typical political spin, but what I keep going back to is the woman issue. Maybe I'm giving a lot of folks in the general population too much credit, but I find it extremely hard to believe that the average undecided female voter would look at this choice and it would sway their vote toward McCain. I'll give women the benefit of the doubt and believe they'll see this choice for what it really is: A gimmick. It's a gimmick that the men in the GOP believe will bring in the female voter. It's a gimmick that they believe will appease the female voters who they've ignored and overlooked when it came to REAL issues for so long. It's a condescending little pat on the head to women... "There, there, dear. Don't worry. See, we appreciate you." It's pandering. It should insult them. It reminds me of the 2004 Republican convention when they trotted out whatever minorities in their party they could find on stage to show they were a party of inclusion... but when you looked at the audience it was whiter than a Gap Store in Iowa.

Ms. Palin probably satisfies a lot of hardcore conservatives with her positions on things like gun control and abortion. I can respect that completely. But please, don't pee on my foot and tell me its raining by telling me she was selected because of her credentials and being a women wasn't the main factor.

The thoughts expressed in this post aren't necessarily those of both Matt & Jeni.

It's America, feel free to comment if you agree or disagree.

A little too big....

I have to admit that one of the most fun parts of having twins is the ability to dress them alike. It's fun. However, one of the slight frustrations (recently) that I have had at Children's is that as the girls get bigger, they are constantly split up and each have a different night nurse. WHich means that oftentimes one of their outfits are changed and the other's isn't. Of course it doesn't bother me to change them, but it weirds me out that they are dressed differently. That said, I had to change Sydney's outfit when I got down to Children's today. Poor baby, she'd been in her outfit for over 24 hours (icky to me, even though baby's don't sweat, I just find that gross). So, Olivia's nurse had changed her into an adorable NB sleeper that I had purchased in honor of the girls moving out of their isolette's into outside cribs. The only issue with this is that it's a LITTLE bit, okay a lot bit, big for Miss Sydney. But, in honor of keeping them alike I had to change her into it. So, her outfit in pictures today is too big! :) What can I say?

Today was a momentous day for Sydney, she AGAIN, moved to an outside crib. At 4lbs, 8oz, she'd better be able to keep her tempurature MUCH better this time and not be moved back! Miss Olivia is weighing in at 5lbs, 4oz, so her sister is attempting to make a move and gain some on her so that they can attempt to be the same size. Other than their weights, and a new isolette, we really have no new news to report, we're just waiting for their lightbulbs to turn on in terms of eating, so that we can move forward with plans to bring them home.

I must admit that I am looking forward to our long weekend, hopefully we make a lot of progress on this monsterous list that I have on the kitchen counter of things that need to be done for the babies. Of course, that will require a lot of work from Matt and it's Fantasy Football Draft/Poker weekend, which means he's super busy, not to mention Mizzou plays on Sat evening. Fun times. I will be painting the girl's wall letters this weekend (all of them except Olivia's A which is back ordered for 2 weeks), fun.

Okay, well, I'm TIRED TIRED TIRED from my running last evening and need to get back to sleep, so here are today's pictures....notice the random shot of Olivia with NOTHING on her face...YAY! That's a rare treat for me! :) (sorry that it's a little dark...she HATES the light when she's eating which is when I took this picture of her).



Have a good one...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

9 Pounds of Cuteness

That's what we have now! Yesterday actually marked the threshhold of the girls weighing in at a total of 9 pounds. Sydney is hanging around the 4lbs, 1oz mark; while Olivia surpassed the 5lb mark as well. Reminds me of those Sunday morning "Wrestling at the Chase" episodes I used to watch where the tag team champions were introduced as "Coming in at a COMBINED weight of so-so hundred pounds..." Well, I guess my girls have a ways to go before they can start their wrestling careers...

To make sure they are as well-rounded as possible, I'm going to start taking note of what I consider great pieces of Americana to introduce the girls to. A week or so ago, I made a reference to the great 'Blazing Saddles'. It's a must see for anyone... Probably not something I can watch with them until they are nearly 12, but something I'll look forward too. As mentioned above, Professional Wrestling is another one... And, The Three Stooges. What is he talking about, you may ask? Well, I have fond memories of many Sunday mornings of waiting for Jerry Falwell to finish with his TV sermon so that I could watch Andre the Giant put the beat down on the Iron Shiek or Nikolai Volkov (yes, kids, Americans hated the Russians and the Iranians back then, too). And nothing rounded out the afternoon like watching Moe Howard whack Larry Fine with a sledge hammer followed by an eye-poke by Curly... Luckily I have the Stooges on DVD in case they can't be found on TV... And yes, ladies, women can love the Stooges. It's rare, but it can happen and hopefully will with my girls...

These are the kind of thoughts that stream through my head as I'm sitting in traffic each day... Anyway...

As I was leaving the hospital today, I pondered some of the things I've learned since I've become a father, only 7 weeks ago...

1. Not all newborn babies look like aliens or rhesus monkeys. Did you see the pics of my girls? They were friggin cute the moment they arrived! As Nana Sharon remarked "They just look like regular little babies, but smaller!" Love you, mom.

2. Pride can make you cry. It's quite cliche, but everyone says that the day your kids are born is the best day of your life... Well, that's true. And the pride you feel is like nothing else you've felt before and something that you can't prepare for. With the rollercoaster ride Jeni and I have been on the last 8 months, the safe, healthy arrival of our girls was truly amazing.

3. Childbirth is NOT beautiful... the CHILDREN who come from it are. Belive me, I was in the room... I know. That was a messy, gross scene. There was way too much blood and fluid for anything like that to be considered beautiful...

4. Parents stare at their children for a reason. As a kid, I caught my mom staring at me a few times for unknown reasons. At the time, I thought this was weird. Now, as a dad, sitting in the NICU looking into the tiny plastic boxes keeping my daughters warm, I realized what that whole staring thing was about... and found myself doing it too.

5. In the words of Jack Nicholson in 'The Bucket List', "Never trust a fart." I say this regarding our lovely little adorable gassy daughters. Just when you think the kid can't possibly have any more gas... She rips one so loud you think someone stepped on a duck. The real mystery is whether it was all gas, or if she's left you a present too... And the smells that can come out of a human weighing less than 6lbs are astonishing.

6. In the NICU, normal folks are a minority. On my first few trips to the NICU I started noticing an odd trend. I seemed to be one of the few men there who had all of his teeth, didn't think camoflage should be a staple to all of my outfits, wasn't there visiting my shorty & baby's mama, and wasn't someone who isn't old enough to buy cigarettes but had brought a child into the world. The NICU is quite the cornucopia of humanity. Unfortunately, it's mainly the side of humanity that causes most of us to gape in awe when they walk by.

7. I'm ready for sleep deprivation. No matter how much I enjoy my 7 hours of sleep, sleeping in on weekends, or naps in the afternoons, I'm ready for my girls to come home. The NICU is giving my girls the best care possible and it's a top notch facility with AMAZING doctors and nurses... But, I want them to be here. I'm done with my drives to the hospital every day... I'm actually looking forward to the day when they wake me up screaming in the next room. I know, you think I'm crazy. But, until you've had to wait these long 7 weeks, you probably won't understand.

I'm sure I'll stumble across more... I'll let you know if I think of some.

So, today the girls did their usual routine of practice time with mom and some bottle feeding from dad. Olivia seems to be our early-adopter of the nursing from mom. She's been pretty consistent. However, she doesn't seem to be a big fan of eating from the bottle. She's quite content just sitting on dad's lap and looking around or napping. She'll take the bottle but hasn't been eating much of her feeds that way. Sydney, on the other hand, hasn't been a strong nurser. She's getting the hang of it now and is improving, but didn't do so well in the beginning. However, with the bottle she's been great. She has regularly taken all of her feed from the bottle with none left to go in through her feeding tube. I guess the girls are working to establish their own personalities already... :)

Finally, my artsy-fartsy side took over today and I attemped some black & white photography. Not sure what it is, but black & white photos just seem more professional or classy... I mean, Ansel Adams was pretty much just taking pictures of rocks and mountains and stuff, but people buy that crap up! Anyway, hope you enjoy the new pictures.


Until tomorrow!


My Daughters....

The HAMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It may surprise some of you to know that we currently have 687 pictures of the girls on our digital camera card! Shocking I Know, but our little girls are the biggest hams ever (and the cutest). Sadly enough, we've deleted TONS of pictures off that card too. Don't worry Grandmas, we have them on our computer though, so they are not lost! :) I need to delete some of the older pics off the card, but I just cannot bring myself to do it... So many of them are just sooooooooo freakin' cute, I tell you. That reminds me... Matt, we need to burn these pics on to some CDs soon in case the computer dies on us! :)

Not too much exciting happened yesterday. Probably the most exciting thing is that my friend Beth from high school took care of the girls last night. Man, did she, Nancy, and I have some GREAT times on Fri and Sat nights! She's been working at the NICU at Children's for 10 years (god are we getting old), and out of all the time the girls have been there, this is the FIRST time she's had them. It was super cool! It is great to see her when we are there. Life is just so busy these days that we don't get to see many people, especially scheduling visits around the NICU and pumping. Thankfully, we're going to see my friend Laurie, her hubby Dan, and her adorable girls on Sunday night. It's been long time! I can't wait to see how much the girls have grown.

Today my big plan is recovering from my migraine that I had last night, which is why the blog wasn't written... That, and tearing Matt away from the Democratic convention was probably not going to happen... Sadly enough he'll also watch the Republican convention as well to see what both sides are saying, so we'll be going through this next week as well. And I may be working in the nursery... I want to move it around AGAIN... I know, I'm fickle. What can I say? But we need MORE room! Scary isn't it? We are slowly but surely making progress on our ever growing list of 10,000 things we need to have done by Sept 10. That's the cut off date. It appears the girls are on track to be home by the 12th (a great day since it's also Aunt Nancy's birthday).
I also need to be at the NICU pretty early today so that I can attend the nursing Mom's meeting at 12:45. My other big event for the day was making our dinner... It's pork steaks in the crockpot. It's really a modified version of my ribs in the crockpot recipe, so it will be super yummy! However, it (and writing the blog) did keep me from getting my morning nap in. :( That means Matt gets blog duty tonight, so it will be MUCH more fun than when I write it... He always comes up with such clever things to write. Me, I'm just too exhausted to be clever any more. :(

Here are our little hams for the day......



It's important to note that on any given day one is much more of a ham than the other is! Can you tell who our ham was today!? :)

Have a great day!


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Pretty Great Duo.... what Matt and I make (as if I didn't already know this). Yesterday was one of those tag team days, as we had Boxer and Baby Issues. So, we ended up having to split the difference. I'm quickly realizing how difficult it is going to be that one of us cannot transport BOTH the babies and the Boxer's at one time. :( UGH, I so don't want car payments for a while after we pay off both of these cars, but we may have to end up with one. I can't see Matt's boss continuing to be so awesome and allowing him to always take off to do vet duties. Baby duties YES, but vet duties no.

So, our Baby issue is that Mommy needed to be at the hospital to nurse the babies and do some kangaroo care. Olivia had another eye test yesterday and was SUPER upset (again) and Sydney was being fussy as well, and Daddy needed to get some bottle time in with the girls. For right now, I haven't bottle fed the girls because we want them to associate nursing with Mommy and bottles with Daddy. The Boxer issue, was well, who else? Cassius. He has an eye infection, so he needed to go to the Vet for some meds. :( NO fun, and again, expensive and the $$$ are going quick let me tell you. But, we still love our first babies. Sugar, well, she went along for the ride.

In Baby news....Sydney continues to be a champ at the bottle, eating at least 2 full bottles a day and she'll practice nursing for me (not yesterday) but most days. Yesterday was a return of Miss Fussy Pants for her. WHY? Not sure, since all she had yesterday was her weekly hemoglobin test. I suspect she hates needles and is sick of getting stuck in the foot and being bled dry by the Vampires at Children's. Also in Sydney-news is that she had her isolette turned off AGAIN, so they are going to try and place her in an outside crib AGAIN today. YAY! Hopefully she's big enough to maintain her body temp now.

Olivia had a BIG day. She's been Miss Farts-A-Lot for about 4 days now, SO her nurse yesterday raised some concerns because not only was she gassy but she's gained a lot of weight fast and had a projectile spit up. WELL, one x-ray later and a CBC, they determined that while she's medically fine, she is FULL of gas, so much that it's pushing up her lungs. It's freaky to look at on the x-ray. So, they are taking her off of the fortifier as well, thinking that her reaction to this is now gas. Sydney's reaction was bloody poop and Olivia's is gas. We also discussed the potential for pyloric stenosis, a condition where the pyloric valve in the stomach doesn't open or close correctly. It has a potential for developing this late in their lives and this defect runs in Matt's family. They were happy that I brought it up that it runs in the family and will monitor it, but are not overly concerned, mainly because this was her first incident with projectile spitting. It's important to note that ALL preemie babies have reflux (and her problems are also a symptom of reflux, but mainly because their feeding tube keeps their stomach OPEN). So hopefully when we kick that feeding tube to the curb this will go away as well. Olivia also had her eye exam yesterday. She passed and does not need to be seen again for 6 months! YAY! That makes me very, very happy. So, needless to say, yesterday was a rough day for her and she wasn't a great nurser or bottle feeder, but she was a champ at Kangaroo care. She loves cuddling with her mommy. I recieved PLENTY of those tired, little, great big sighs that she gives when she's tuckered out and wants her mommy.

Cassius and Sugar continue to 'recover' from their weekend at Nana Sharon and Papa Rick's (or Grandpa Rick as the Boxers know him). They've been sleeping a lot (pretty typical after a visit). We got our carpets cleaned over the weekend... (remember that list?) Yep, still working on it, in fact it's now longer and only a few parts have been crossed off of it. :(


I told you to LEAVE ME ALONE (in baby speak that's what their hands in front of their faces means).

Only her paci (and some kangaroo care could calm her down yesterday).

You'd be crabby too if you had as much gas in you as I do. :(

After some kangaroo care with Mommy...I feel MUCH better and even slept some.

Well, I'm off to work on my list of a thousand things to do at the house..and maybe a short nap. Hope All is well!


Sunday, August 24, 2008

What you really came for...

So, since our weekends are getting busier and busier, we at the Boxers & Babies Blog have decided to dedicate our weekend entry (typically we'll only do one to cover both Saturday & Sunday) to what you really come here for... Pictures!

So, instead of detailing everything we did, we'll just give you the Sports Illustrated approach with just pictures and captions. Hope you enjoy. If you don't, take it up with one of our sponsors. Oh wait, we don't have any! :)

Sydney getting to know Papa Rick.

Olivia modeling her new fish outfit. She likes it.

Getting in some bottle time with Dad.

Our girls love to ham it up for the camera...

Sydney's "Ive got a secret" pose.

Sydney's tribute to Betty Boop. Can't you just hear her saying "Boop Boop Eee Do!"

Sydney looks like she's giving someone the what's-what... But she's just yawning.

I call this "Oh, no, Not Again!"

Thanks for stopping by!