Wednesday, October 31, 2007

About the fashion faux pas....

Back off!!! I was wearing semi-coordinated clothing that day, but when Billy and the mamas came to watch the game, they brought me that jersey to wear. It really is a work out to change my clothes, so I guess I'll just have to deal with the ridicule. Oh well, at least I'm dressed (and safe in the woods from any hunters!) The hospital gowns are even less becoming, especially when they're put on backwards!

I'm sure you're all wondering how it is that Moni is posting right now. Well, mom and I snuck into the Tubre's hospital room and stole their computer. Not really. They graciously offered it to us for the afternoon while they go play dress up with the cupcakes for Halloween. We traded them the computer for mom's camera, so hopefully they'll get some good pics of their costumes. We've really enjoyed having such good neighbors. It makes the time pass more quickly. I'm sure we'll be swapping pictures this time next year and for many years to come. The babies will grow up knowing all about their Tubre cousins.

Mom spent the night in my hospital room with me last night on the roll-away bed. It was a low-key slumber party, but we had a good time none the less. I taught her how to play gin. I must be a really good teacher because after the first hand, she kicked the crap out of me. What a lucky b***h! And I thought dad was the good one at cards. Becky will be by sometime this morning to pick up mom and take her back to the apartment. There, they will bask in the glorious sun that I can see through my hospital window. Marla, don't be too jealous of "June" (AKA Marsha).

As for an update on the babies.... Danna had her cord blood flow doppler sono yesterday. The doc said it was still "abnormal" but not enough to cause the delivery. She still looks great on the screen and is jumping all over the place. The boys keep growing well and everyone is kicking everyone else. It's like a chain reaction. Olava, the sono tech, took some great sono pics of Pius and Laine, but we don't have a scanner so we can't post them. They have such perfect little features! No protruding foreheads or "Selenke Slope" noses that we can tell (not that Selenke noses aren't beautiful)! I could be a little biased.

I'm still feeling and eating well. I can always elicit a laugh or snicker from the moms whenever I put in my meal orders! It really seems like I'm eating an enormous amount and I hope that by the end of this, I'll be so sick of large amounts of food and double portions. That would definitely not be a good habit to keep.

Billy is currently working this morning and I'm sure when he gets home to check the blog, he'll be so surprised to see this post! Hi Billy! Keep up the good work!

We'll try to post some new pics shortly. Hang in there. Maybe Becky and the mamas can take pictures of the beach beauties and give you all a break from scenes of the beached whale.

Well, I'd better call the nurse and get to hydrotherapy and then do my contraction monitoring. So much to do, so little time. I don't know if I can keep up with this schedule for too much longer! Ha!


P.S. Happy Halloween to you all and Happy 28 weeks 2 days to me!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dr. Elliott's first goal is in our rearview...28 weeks

Hi all. Week 27 Day 6 began with church. My mom, Marsha, and I got up and went to 8:00 a.m. mass at St. Gregory's. After church, we set our plans for the day. Our mothers decided that they would like to spend the day with their own kids. Mom and I took Marsha up to the hospital. When we got up there, Mark was already there and had brought Moni some bagels and the Sunday paper. They were getting ready to do a BPP on Danna, so I stayed for that, and Mark took my mom home.

Her BPP (which stands for Bio-Physical Profile) looked great. She scored an 8 out of 8 on it. The score system is based on amniotic fluid space, breathing movements, activity, and tone (control over their muscle movements). They award 2 points per category. That was great news. After the sono, I headed home to watch football with my mom, and Marsha stayed with Moni to observe Moni in a day of the life of Moni.

Monica said that they spent their 6 1/2 hours together mainly talking. Marsha provided great company for her. They started visiting and then Marsha went to watch Moni do her hydro. Monica said it was very exciting. When they got back to the room, Marsha watched Monica perform the laborous task of getting herself ready for the day. Marsha said Monica did very well. After Moni was ready, it was time for the pedicure that Marsha had promised her. Marsha did a wonderful job with Moni's feet. They were pretty, and didn't smell so bad. After the pedicure, they did some more visiting and waited on us to show back up to the hospital.

Mom and I had a great time. She completely lucked out, and got two horrible games so I didn't pay that close of attention. We gossiped about everything going on back at home. We really visited about everything. Dad would be very proud of her. She did her best to talk football with me. We talked about what a jerk Belicheck was and so on. She did a great job. Mark insisted that my mother and I have a few cocktails together, and also insisted that he come back to pick us up to go pick Marsha up. We got Marsha, and came home. This was all after Mark fixed Moni's TV so she could watch movies. After we left the hospital, Mark took Marsha, Mom, and I to dinner at TexAZ. When we got home, we decided it was time to hit the sack.
Today we hit the 28 week milesonte. Woohoo. I woke up and went to work at 4:30. QT came through yet again and let me off an hour early so I could be with my mamas and sweet Moni. I came home to pick up Marsha and Mom, and we headed up to the hospital. We got there just in time to go to the big sono. At this sono we got measurements on all four of them. We were excited to get measurements on the boys since we hadn't for about 3 weeks. The sono was great again. All of these weights are approximate, but give us a general idea of their size:

Pius James took over the lead. He weighs 2 pounds 11 ounces.

Forrest Michael fell into second place. He now weighs 2 pounds 10 ounces.

Our little stud, Danna Lynn, gained another 2 ounces in the last week. She now weighs 1 pound 7 ounces.

Laine Ryan is still growing very well, but is our smallest boy at 2 pounds 1 ounce.

The kids are doing well, and Danna's amniotic fluid sac is well over 3 cm. She is really turning into a giant. We are so proud of her. Monica is also doing extremely well with her weight gain. Her belly now measures 52 inches around.

We got quite a surprise tonight. Jaclyn Tubre called Moni this morning, and they found out that they are neighbors. Jacklyn is having a personal, little bump in the road, and she is right across the hall from Moni. She came over to play tonight, and it was fun talking with someone who has been though what we are getting ready to go through. Her mom, Vicki, also came over. We now see where Jacki got her personable attitude. Vicki was very nice to talk with, and we are hoping to get to spend more time with the Tubres.

As for Billy and Moni's teams:

The Broncos really suck. They lost again. We will stay strong with our love for them, but I have decided that I will give them a bye year. Even though Our Broncos had a bad day, we had a great day with the news of all the weight gain, so we weren't too down in the dumps.

Bishop Carroll starts their state playoffs this weekend. Newton will be tough, but I am sure the Golden Eagles are ready to play. Go BC.

The Tide is SO ready for LSU...LSU, I hoped you guys enjoyed your little run at the top of the SEC. It comes to an end this week.

The Q.U.A.D.S. have sucked for a little over a month now. We haven't won since middle September. However, ever since they started losing, the kids started excelling. Keep it up guys.

This is Monica covering the babies "ears" because of all the poor language. I do need to add that Becky got a taste of the BS that Marsha and my mom are pulling right now. They are on fire.
Billy and Moni

P.S. Moni and I HAVE met some great people at Good Sam. We took a picture with Olava at the sono. She is a wonderful sonotech. Also, there is a nurse, Tallie, that has spoiled Moni and the rest of us rotten. Olava and Tallie are just a couple of examples of the kind of people that we have met at Good Sam. Great people.

P.S. A gigantic thank you to Brooklyn, Whitney, Brady, Taylor, and Drew Bockover for the cards, poetry, and artwork we received. You guys really know how to pick your cousins up.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Day 5

Momma Graf with us.

Momma Haag with Little Momma Graf. We know, we know...little?

Hi everybody. Things have really stabalized a little bit, and there is really nothing new to report on the baby front. We will tell you about the mommas visit so far, with a little of the hospital stay mixed in.
This is our view from Moni's hospital room. Very pretty, especially at night.

Yesterday, Day 4, Marsha and my mother got up around 5 a.m. They are obviously still on "Dub time." They really felt like they were sleeping in. I DID NOT feel like they were sleeping in. That was okay though I guess, I couldn't be mad at my mamas. So we went out to get them some coffee. I took them to the QT closest to my house (because QT has the BEST coffee I am told). We got up to the hospital around 9 a.m. Moni had to do her hydro so we left to run to Sam's. After Sam's we called Moni, and she told us that they were going to do a sono after lunch. She told us to go to lunch and then come up. I took the mammas to Hazelwoods (Moni and my sports bar). They loved it.

We got to the hospital at noon, and Monica was just eating her lunch. The sono was supposed to be some time after that. We decided to start a little pitch series. Moni and I are damn near unbeatable...just ask Karen and Becky. The moms won the opening game. Moni and I came back to take the next two. We took a break. Later in the night, the run of the crappiest cards in the history of cards began. Our first three games in the series were decided by less than 5 points. The mothers hammered us in the evening session. We could NOT draw a card.

This picture is in no way related to cards...we just wanted to show how cocky they were together. Look at my mom's face. I wouldn't want to run into her in a dark alley...And Marsha...obviously one of the luckiest women in the world.

The sono had not arrived yet. Monica received her dinner, and then another great surprise of the week occurred. They had an extra dinner plate. I ate it. Moni and I finished our dinners. The sono still had not hapened, and the nurses had called down yet again. Still no answer, and the nurse left another message to sono. At this time we started another round of pitch. This is when the crappy card run began. That killed another couple of hours. Still no sono.

We asked yet again, and they said that OB Triage had closed. Moni was on the list and she was number 4. We couldn't figure out how we were still that far down on the list. The mothers and I decided to leave because Moni WOULD NOT go to sleep if we were there. We called Becky and went to Becky's favorite Mexican restaurant, Macayo's, for dinner. Dinner was great. We got home and went to bed. They did finally do the sono at 3 a.m., everything looked great. Moni was happy with it, so she didn't call to wake us up.

I woke up this morning (Day 5), at around 8. The mothers were awake at around 6, but stayed in the bedroom so I could sleep a little a longer. We got up to the hospital at around 10. When we got there, Moni and I decided that we were going to return to the dominance. Boy, were we wrong. The crappy card run continued. I am not sure that you all know anything about pitch, but here are a few examples of what I am talking about: mom asked for three cards, she got three in that suit. I got set on a bid 5, and I was holding the K,Q,joker, joker, and a was already full with the three. Ridiculous. There are many more examples, but I will not bore you all any longer. As you all can tell, I hate to lose. After pitch, we decided to play some "Mexican Train" dominos. Marsha's crazy luck continued throughout the game, until the final hand and Moni stuck her mom with a ton of points. Monica won. I lost again. Basically, I am a loser.

Moni was starting to wear down, and she still had to do her hydro and monitoring. We left because as I have told you she won't go to sleep if we are there. As you can all see, nothing has really happened with the babies, but we are having a grand time with our mammas.

Billy and Moni

P.S. A GIANT thank you to Mrs. Judy Rapp (my mom's school principal), and Bishop Carroll to lending Moni and me our mommas.

Another P.S. Thanks to Erin, David, and Quinn for the GREAT framed artwork. We are going to hang it in our hospital room. And to everybody else for all the cards, well wishes, and prayers.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Day 3 delivers a "HUGE" surprise

Moni awoke this morning around 4:00 a.m. because she had to pee. She decided to call me to make sure that I was up for work since my shift started at 5:00 a.m. She then called her mother to make sure she was up for her flight this morning. It had been awhile since she had eaten so she called her nurse to bring her some yogurt and a couple of boxes of cereal.

When her nurse arrived with her snack Moni had to ask her something. She had a sneaking suspicion about something, but REFUSED to take my word for it. She asked Kara, "Was I snoring last night?" Kara giggled and replied, "You seemed to be sleeping pretty soundly, and yes. You were snoring." Moni said, "I think I woke myself up." Anyways, I will state again that Moni is truly the MOST intelligent person I have ever met. Her theory is that she has an extra flap of skin at the back of her throat. So...I concur. Yes. She is a snorer.

She had a sono today and they all looked great. Danna has improved even since last night. Her amniotic fluid sac was over 2 cm. Perhaps, Pius scooted over even further. I don't know.

Anyways...on to the best part of the entire day. Marsha came into town this morning. That is very exciting, however she brought me the best birthday present ever. She brought my mommy. It was so shocking to see my mom walk in. Other than the good news on my children, it really was the best thing that has happened to me since I have been down here. How incredible.

A group shot when Moni and I had forgiven them for the surprise.

What my life will consist of for the rest of my life (The mammas talking about whatever it is that mammas talk about).

The grandmammas waiting to surprise. Grandma Vicki was hiding in a closet to surprise me. She waited for over an hour as I was upstairs in Moni's new room waiting on her to get there for over an hour.

Another update tomorrow...

Billy and Moni

P.S. Mr. and Mrs. Tubre, our friendship has been great. The help and guidance you have shown Moni and I has been priceless, and we will always appreciate it. All of that being will NOT be our friends for about 3 1/2 hours on Saturday, Nov. 4th. Leading up to, and right after we will again be friends. ROLL TIDE (All that friend stuff was being said tongue-in-cheek).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Day 2...

Our first night in the hospital was quite interesting. I spent the night so as not to miss Dr. Elliott's early morning visit. He got to our room around 6 before heading out on vacation (I told him that I was teaching Danna how to give the finger so when he returns and he delivers them she will know what to do. He laughed and said that she would be too lady-like). Dr. Elliott will return two weeks from Friday. He assured us that he will be leaving us in very competent hands. And for those of you wondering how the two of us responded, we gave him a hard time about it.

We finally found out about the sono. There was some bad news first. Danna is now only in the 4th percentile as far as her weight and size (she was in the 10th). This number is a bit skewed because this is compared to a singelton pregnancy and not a quadruplet. That was it for the bad news. There was A TON of good news. She has gained some weight. She is up to 1 pound 5 ounces. So she has gained around 4 oz. since the measurement about 1 1/2 weeks ago. Also, her umbilical cord blood flow has improved since the two previous dopplers. Another good sign, her amniotic fluid sac has increased a small amount in size (she is still pretty squished in there, though). More good news was that she was moving around so well in there last night. All of these signs point to improvement, not deterioration! Praise the Lord! Let's keep flooding Him with prayers.

So as not to neglect the three boys already (it's bound to happen when they're all home with us), they are doing great as well. The longer they stay in there and cook, the better. We think Pius, Forrest, and Laine have been very obedient in listening to our pleas and demands for them to start sharing some room and nutrients with their sister...We all know how us Graf boys can be with our food.

The plans are for Moni to start hydrotherapy 2 times a day to help push all the swelling and edema from her extremities back into her bloodstream. This also increases uterine/fetal circulation. The hydro is her favorite part of being at the hospital. She told Marsha (who, by the way, will be here tomorrow morning) to bring her swimsuit to the hospital so that they can share the "hot tub."

As before, the nursing and physician staff at Good Sam has been phenominal. Monica is continually amazed at the excellent patient care. She said that it really is quite inspiring.

Sitting in her room in Labor and Delivery, there is constantly new baby cries surrounding us. It just gets us more and more excited to meet our little miracles (or "cupcakes" like Jaclyn Tubre so fondly refers to her new quads).

Moni, the babies, and I are so fortunate to have such a loving and generous support system of family, friends, and even those who were strangers not long ago. We received a care package in the mail the other day from a woman from California named Dusty Hutton. She came across our website by way of another website. She has been keeping up with us, and felt compelled to do something. She crocheted us 4 beautiful little preemie afghans to wash and keep on us. When the babies arrive, we will keep the blankets close by so they can have the comforting smell of their parents near them. That being said, we will just let Moni get her scent on them, because I tend to sweat, and that tends to stink. So thank you so much, Mrs. Hutton, for sharing your story and the blankets.

Moni has had a few people email her or ask her for the hospital's address. It is:
Banner Good Samaritan Hospital
1111 E. McDowell
Phoenix, AZ 85006

Until next time...
Billy and Moni

P.S. Monica basically wrote that post from her hospital bed. So I will give credit, where credit is due, even though, I am the one who thought of the jokes.

Day 1 of Operation Graf Quad Countdown

Hello everyone. You all will be blessed with my typing for awhile now. Day 1 of the countdown is behind us, and we have officially made it through 27 weeks and 1 day. I will tell you all most of the events of the day.

We got up to the hospital at 8:30 a.m. this morning. The hospital wasn't expecting us until 3:00 p.m. this afternoon. Therefore, it took us until 9:15 to get checked into a room. Around 12:30 they moved her down to labor and delivery on the third floor. Her nurse checked her in and she ate. Then she slept. Then she read. Then she slept. Then she texted me. Then she slept. Her afternoon basically consisted of these things with a few doctors, residents, and nurses spread throughout.

At 5:30 she received the first of two doses of steroids. She will receive her second dose at 5:30 tomorrow. Steroids have been shown to improve lung development in preemies, decrease risks of developing various infections and hemorrhaging in the brain, and help the children run the 40 in 4.2 seconds (that's got to be exciting, huh, Coach Schuckman?). Also she has been, and will continue, receiving constant contraction monitoring throughout her stay.

The babies have been moving like crazy all day. They really went crazy when Grandpa Stubby called. It also helps that they have been going crazy for their big weekend (Golden Eagles, Tide, Broncos, and both of daddy's fantasy football teams won).

The hospital did a sono and doppler on Danna at the end of the night. It started at 8:45 and ended at 10:15. We will get the results tomorrow when we speak with Dr. Elliott before he leaves for vacation. We will post everything tomorrow when I get off work and home from the hospital.

Moni is still eating, moving, and feeling pretty well. I am starting to drag a little as the hours of working and chasing the babies is starting to catch up with me. I know, I know. I will get a much better taste of that here in a couple months. We would like to thank D.H. for the package. I can't wait to take a picture of the little farts in their little outfits. Another thanks to everyone for my happy birthday wishes. The comments, texts, calls, and cards were all greatly appreciated.

Billy and Moni

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday, Sunday...It was all we hoped it would be

Hello everyone. Steph and Kelly have probably arrived home at this point. So now, we can comment on what really went down this weekend...Pretty much everything they said. We had a phenomenal time with them. They were just what the doctor ordered (think the Dr. Pepper jingle). Before they left, we taught them the "Golden Cadillac" card game that Aunt Rose's friend, Sue, showed us. I dominated.

After I dropped them off at Sky Harbor, I came home and started focusing for the big game against the Steelers. We dominated...Go Broncos (I am glad Coach Shanahan finally listened to my emails).

Honestly, Moni watched the entire game with me and it was exactly what I wanted for my birthday. Moni was probably more into the game than I was. She wanted the Broncos to go for it on fourth and five from our forty...She was all, "We are doing whatever we want offensively," and I was all, "We still need to be conservative." What a stud.

Anyways, I had a great birthday weekend (if that was ever a concern - DOY!). What a great word 'DOY' is...we overused it this weekend, but it just got more funny each time.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes and prayers, keep the great comments coming.

Billy and Moni

P.S. Yes, Aunt Cathy, Becky delivered the Bridge book safe and sound. Moni has yet to delve into the fascinating game that is bridge.

The Great Pumpkin

Steph, Kelly and I thought it'd be fun to paint the babies and see if you could pick them out. Guess which one isn't a real pumpkin! Also, I had to display the witch hat my sister, Emily, sent in the care package. The mini pumpkins were courtesy of Maria and TJ Frevert and family. Thanks everyone! We had a good time!

Now we're getting ready to eat Chipotle again for Billy's birthday lunch. I'm not a big fan, so he picked me up some Red Brick Cheese Pizza and a chicken caesar salad, instead. Yum!

Billy and Moni

A Second Day in the Life of. . .

Greetings! Here is the second installment of Steph and Kelly's Excellent Adventure. Saturday after we posted (and anxiously awaited replies) the girls and babies went down to the pool while Billy stayed to watch the Crimson Tide wash over whomever they were playing. He also tidied up the apartment while we were gone, which was super. The pool was excellent - had it mostly to ourselves. Caught up on a lot of Hollywood gossip and Wichita gossip. We were there for about three hours.

Steph, Kelly & Billy got cleaned up and went to Arriba's (courtesy of Ed and Nancy) for some fart fodder while Moni stayed by herself (yes, we were concerned) at the apartment to do pregnant lady things. Moni insisted we leave and made sure to keep her phone by her in case she fell and couldn't get up. Arriba's was en fuego! The Arriba's waiter was also en fuego!! Think Jesse Metcalf. Even Billy thought he was hot. We had some adult beverages and Billy may or may not have had a birthday shot of Sauza Tres Generaciones tequila at the coercion of Kelly who was at the coercion of her boyfriend. Good times. We brought back food for Moni. Unfortunately the salsa didn't get packaged with the meal, which was very sad for Moni. But probably also fortunate at the same time since she is eating her meals at least twice. Think cud.

Cousin Mark stopped by and we had a grand time. We think Mark may be trying to woo Monica and Billy into naming him as a Godfather because he brought over cookies (think yummy), flowers and coca-cola classic. We played some games and chatted about anything and everything. Thanks to Aunt Vicki for the "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader" game (more on that later).

After he left, we checked the blog one more time and retired to our respective quarters. Moni only had two contractions with moderate irritability when she monitored and slept like normal (which isn't very well - up about every two hours - poor thing). Steph and Billy rose with the roosters and went to Church like the good Catholics they are. Kelly really didn't want to leave Moni by herself so she stayed home with her to assist with the composition of this post. Because that's what Bearded Jesus wanted Kelly to do.

1. We found out that we are not, in fact, smarter than fifth graders. Kelly may have to go into therapy.
2. Despite her prior beliefs, Steph now knows that Antelopes DO exist while Jackelopes DO NOT (this rectification occurred after discussion of Moni's copious childhood pets).
3. Billy really hates waiting to find out what his presents are.
4. FedEx delivers on Saturdays, while UPS does not (duly noted by Moni).
5. Antarctica is the world's largest desert with only 2" of precipitation a year (Billy really put it to the fifth graders on that one). The 3 primary colors are red, blue and yellow (the 1st graders really put it to Billy and Mark on that one).
6. There are 12 apostles which means 13 people were at the table in the Last Supper painting by Da Vinci. Heated discussion occurred on both the number of apostles and whether it was actually Mary Magdelan depicted in the picture. Moni and Kelly were spouting off Dan Brown dogma instead of Catholic dogma. Ooops. That's what the media can do to ya. We retracted our comments shortly after a quick Google search. Bless us Father, for we have sinned (unintentionally, of course).
7. Kelly is a bed hog and apparently thinks her sister is her snuggly dog Louis.
8. Moni's belly measures 50" around when standing and 53" around when sitting. That's 129.5 and 135 centimeters, respectively, if you live in Europe (that's a shout out to Tracy and all our fans in the UK). In American, that's 4 feet, 2 inches and 4 feet, 5 inches, respectively!!! That's the size of Lainie or a small pony!!! Amazing!
9. Grass is not indigenous to Phoenix. That doesn't stop the Phoenicians from trying to grow it, God bless 'em.
10. Happy birthday, Sweet William! 2007 has been/will be your year. Go Broncos!!!

Enjoy the pictures!

Kelly, Steph, Billy and Moni

PS - Moni will be 27 weeks along on Monday, October 22nd, 2007.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Day in the Life of . . .

Let us introduce ourselves - Steph and Kelly are first cousins of Billy on the Graf side (his dad Stubby and my dad Ed are brothers - quite handsome ones at that). Kelly and I arrived in Phoenix late yesterday morning. Meeting us at Security Checkpoint B was none other than the handsome Billy - it was so good to see his beautiful face and smile in person (gotta love those dimples - I can't wait to see which quad (if not all) get those charming facial features). We went to Walmart to get some important staples (beer and a few other things, courtesy of Ed & Nancy) we continued on to Chipotle (courtesy of Ed & Nancy) for lunch.

We made it back to the apartment complex and proceeded to smother Billy and Moni with hugs and kisses, as directed by all of the family back in the ICT. It got kind of weird after awhile :) We ate lunch and talked and talked. After doing the dishes (which consisted of throwing the trash away), we moved our discussion to the balcony where Kelly and I were priviledged enough to feel the babIES! move. Bless Moni's heart - she is such a trooper to have four little ones rockin' and rollin' inside her body. She looks fabulous, as you can see from the pictures) but is absolutely amazing in person.

After doing the first of two contraction monitoring sessions, we put on our swimsuits, Moni settled down into her wheelchair and we trooped down to the pool. It is so beautiful here - palm trees, lots of flowering shrubs, and even little lizards that run around (Phoenix's version of a squirrel, I guess). The weather is fabulous - in the 90s, which might sound warm to some, but coming from Kansas, the AZ 90 is more like our mid-70s, because there is no humidity. We didn't realize how much we missed Moni's laugh until we got here. Being down at the pool was a close second to being at Mike and Vicki's. After sunning ourselves like little turtles, drinking red beers like Graf fishies, and lots of hyenic laughs, we headed back to the apartment once the shade of the buildings covered the pool.

It took us awhile to decide what to have for dinner, and after we finally decided what we wanted, found out that they didn't deliver, so we settled (which really wasn't settling) on Domino's Pizza (courtesy of Ed & Nancy). Then we watched the Dog Whisperer (and yes, for those of you who know me well, I fell asleep during it) and called it a night. Hopefuly Kelly learned some useful tips to try on her spastic dog Louis.

For some, it might seem like an uneventful night, but for Kelly and me, it was absolutely PERFECT! The pool, reading trashy tabloid magazines, red beer, good food (we've been eating a lot so as not to make Moni feel like she's eating too much - we are such great cousins) and most of all Billy and Moni made for a fabulous day.

When they say that they check the Blog constantly for new posts, they aren't joking. In fact, it is quite addictive. Just as those of us check for updates from them, so too do they check for posts/comments from each of you. We'd get back from the pool and one of the first things we'd ask is "did anyone post anything?" And then, oh man, not yet. First verbal utterances of the day echoed the same sentiment. Technology is such a wonderful way to stay connected over a long distance - to answer the questions that everyone is asking and only have to answer them once.

OK, enough serious talk, and now for Kelly and Steph's Top Sixteen Things We Have Learned In Phoenix - in no particular order:

1) Moni has gained about 70 pounds. The doctor wants her to put on 80 - 100. She eats approximately every two hours and drinks about 150 ounces of water a day, which translates to lots of trips to the bathroom. When she's feeling crazy, she'll drink a caffeine free soda.
2) My camera isn't compatible with Moni's - which is why we didn't post pictures from yesterday (you Blog watchers are insatiable!)
3) Billy eats Chipotle about 3 - 5 times a week while in Wichita. He likes the Steak Fajita Bol with a tortilla on the side.
4) When asked if Moni wanted a non-fat decaf vanilla latte, Moni said "no." The babies need whole milk decaf vanilla latte.
5) Billy is still learning the quickest route back from the airport.
6) Billy ROCKS as a Guitar Hero. Steph still has a long way to go.
7) While most of us consider pregnancy to consist of one child in utero, for Billy and Moni, the concept of one baby is strange. They say "babies" like it is totally natural.
8) Billy has had a difficult time adjusting to his teams playing at 10:00 a.m. PST.
9) Moni had 2 contractions during her morning session - which is great! She is a pro at switching out her terb pump and also pretty good at ripping it out accidentally.
10) Moni wore a bikini top for the first time at the pool, because the tankini top was getting too restrictive.
11) They wash their dishes by hand and use the dishwasher as a drying rack.
12) They have all seven (7) of their cards displayed on a ledge. Come on people, snail mail is much more exciting to receive than blog comments.
13) Moni's Aunt Charlotte sent a beautiful picture of the Virgin Mary and Baby Infant Jesus, with a lovely card (she is a very good writer BTW).
14) Quotes from Talledegha Nights flow freely and always bring a laugh "Billy thanks God for his smokin' hot wife, who on a scale of 100, easily scores a 94"
15) Bill has greatly refrained from causing his wife stress "I have by God" - having only one tiff (if that) while we have been there.
16) Billy laid his head on Moni's belly last night, and as soon as he put his head down, got kicked in the ear by Forrest, earning him an A+ for the day by his Momma.

That's all for now. We'll take pictures with B&M's camera today and post them later. I'm sure we'll all go out at midnight to celebrate Billy's birthday (Moni's been craving tequila). Kidding.

Graf out!

Friday, October 19, 2007

While the cat's away....

Well, Becky left for New Orleans today and we went for our 26 week 4 day appointment with Dr. Elliott. He even let us get a couple pictures with him so you all would have a face to put with the name! He's quite a ham. If you can't see it in the picture, the little princess door hanger says DIVA on it. About the appointment...they did a doppler sono on Danna's umbilical cord to see if there were any changes from last time. The good news is that she is not getting any worse and she has good muscle tone (she was clenching her fist), movement and fetal respirations were visible. The fetal respirations mean she's moving her diaphragm up and down and exercising her lungs (but not really breathing because mama does that for her right now). The only down side to the appointment was that her amniotic fluid sac has decreased even more in size. This means she has less room to move around and could potentially cause cord compression problems. Dr Elliott assured us the chances of that were very slim and it is not related to her placental problems. So, in a nutshell, she's already high maintenance and causing her parents and family/friends worry and stress!

We also discussed my hospital admission plans. Doc wants me in the hospital around week 27 (which begins on Monday, Oct 22nd). So I'm going in on Tuesday the 23rd because Dr Elliott is on-call at the hospital that day. In the hospital, they plan to keep a close eye on the babies - especially Danna. They'll do Doppler sonos on her at least twice a week and recheck her growth when I reach 28 weeks (Oct 29th). They'll also be able to monitor my blood pressure and start me on Mag Sulfate and steroids. The steroids will help the babies' lungs develop more quickly since they'll be premature.

I've been doing well so far. Last night we had a minor eyebrow raising incident. I had a small amount of spotting so I called the nurse to see what she wanted me to do. Of course, I knew what she was going to say....go get it checked out at OB triage in the hospital. So we did. They checked me out, did some blood work and checked the babies' heart rates and placentas by ultrasound. Everything was good except I had an elevated uric acid level. Dr Elliott said this could indicate the start of preecclampsia. I've been monitoring my blood pressure everyday and it's been within normal ranges, so it's just another thing to keep our eyes on. Then, after I got released from the hospital, I did my contraction monitoring. I had 7 contractions in the hour, so I gave myself an extra dose of Terbutaline (the medication in the pump in my leg). I had to re-monitor then and the next session I had 8 contractions. The Matria nurse was concerned but she let me try one more bolus of medicine and another hour of monitoring. Third time's a charm! I only had 3 contractions and she finally let me go to bed around 0300 am.

On a different note, thank you to cousins Maria, TJ, Indy and Aiden Frevert for the care package we got in the mail! There was all sorts of candy, beef jerky, gum, a Baby Beethoven CD, 4 mini decorated pumpkins, Halloween cards, lovely drawings from Indy and Aiden and even some decaf coffee singles for me! I think I'm on a sugar high. We had fun going through it with Becky - she says thank you, too.

A few people have asked what kind of things they could send. To be quite honest, we really don't need anything. We just like receiving any news/notes from anyone!

Deb, we'd love to see you in November! Yes, we have tried the In-n-Out burgers. They had to bring mine home to me, so it was a little cold. But we'll definitely give it another try!

About the pictures.... Billy thought it'd be funny to do mugshots and profiles since Becky's away and I'm on house arrest. Not the best pictures, but we'll post more soon. Next up, our adventures with Stephanie and Kelly this weekend! Billy picks them up from the airport tomorrow morning and we are so excited!

Keep the comments coming...we really do read all of them multiple times. We'll try to start posting in the comments section as well to answer questions that pop up as we go.

Billy, Moni and the quad squad

P.S. Aunt Bert, Billy spells his name like the boy version. Not with an "ie". He wanted me to let you know. And we're spelling Laine like so (kind of like Elaine). By the way, that was a great comment and we appreciate all the kind words.

P.S.S. No more signing with initials only. Who are you, D.H.? I guess we'll find out when the snail mail gets here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Billy got his hairs cut

....and it's no Kristy cut. But it'll do. Other than that, not a whole lot goin' on in the Nix (P-town). The babies have been very active today. We watched my belly for a while and could see movements. I think they're also getting restless staying at home all the time.

The contraction monitoring is still going well. I've been averaging anywhere from 1-3 contractions in an hour session with mild uterine irritability. My right side pain has seemed to increase over the last couple of days, which is no fun. But it's nothing I can't handle.

Looking forward to our visitors from the Dub this weekend. Steph and Kelly Graf will be in the house on Friday. Billy's been working about every day but was able to get this weekend off for our visitors and his birthday. Normally we'd be celebrating with Aunt Debbie in Denver at the Broncos game. Those yearly trips will probably be postponed for a couple years!

Big thank you to sister and soon-to-be brother in law, Emmy and Andy. They sent a fun little Halloween care package our way. Em, were you trying to imply something by sending the witch hat? I'll take a picture with it on and post it soon.

Hope this post will keep the carnivores at bay for a day or two! You know, it would be easier to post more often if we had more comments to read (thanks, Erin, for saying something earlier - it just sounds monotonous when we complain). Must be busy, busy at work with no time to drop us a line!

Billy and Moni

Sunday, October 14, 2007

More visitors

Hello everyone. We had a great day yesterday. Monica and Becky's cousins Ann (Aunt Rosie's daughter) and Ann, Alfred, and their son Ariel Perez came to visit us. I was so excited to have a couple of men in the apartment...and they wanted to watch sports. The Perez's are in town for Ariel's high school baseball showcase. I am going to watch him pitch this afternoon.

Aunt Rosie's daughter, Ann, came down from Wickenburg, AZ just to visit. She brought us a lot of baby items for our little miracles. She got here around 2:30 and hung out with us until 8:30. The Perez family got here around 4:00 and stayed until the end of the Red Sox/Indians baseball game. After catching up on everyone's lives for the past 15 years, Alfred and Ann bought us all pizza. Monica tried to say that we could go out to eat somewhere, but Becky had already warned everyone that she might try to pull something like that. I was pumped that I had a fellow pepperoni and jalapeno pizza lover among us, and Ariel and I threw down the entire thing. Hopefully, he won't have any acid reflux today on the mound.

We received a very nice card from Moni's Aunt Ginny a couple days ago. She ended it with a great joke that made all of us laugh out loud! We've been showing it to all our guests. We also received a package from Fritz, MaryAnn, and Lauren Graf. There were two platters of cookies (one of which is already gone), and some MAC cosmetics for Moni. It is one of the highlights of each of our days to get the mail, and we get pumped for fun stuff - so thank you to all who have sent things.

Monica's contraction monitoring machine wasn't working last night, so they are supposed to be sending a new one some time today. As Ariel would say, "That's so retarded!" She stayed up really late on the phone talking to the Matria people trying to fix it, but they couldn't figure it out. She finally got to sleep around 4:30 am. Hopefully, she will get some decent sleep today and tonight. We will continue to keep you all updated. Love you all. Enjoy the pics!

Billy and Monica
P.S. Andy, Stubby, Serg, Rachel and Ryno.....That last "sauced" post of yours caused Moni some stress. You all know what they say about babies born under stress!!! Just kidding. We really enjoyed reading it. Keep 'em coming. Ryno, you're disgusting. And Rachel, about Andy's heavy'll know where all of Em and Andy's mouth-breathing kids come from without a doubt. Those poor hypothetical kids don't have a snowball's chance. Emmy, hope your flight back to Germany was good and uneventful. Can't wait to see you on Nov 2nd (maybe mom will still be in town).

Friday, October 12, 2007

Another day, Part 2

Billy forgot to mention that when Karen was still in town, we also got pedicures. Actually, just I got one from Becky. Karen did her own. Becky's the den mother and wouldn't let us leave to go get store bought pedicures, so she brought the salon to us. She gave me the best pedicure I've ever had! Wish we would've taken a picture of it - I guess there's always next time! I'm going to owe her so much when this is all said and done.

Last night, Billy, Becky and I played Mexican Train dominoes. Becky kicked our butts but I made a valiant comeback towards the end. Billy took last place. We also figured out a way to play pitch with 3 people. Definitely not as cutthroat as regular pitch, but we felt like we accomplished something when we worked out all the kinks.

My monitoring has been going well. The other night I had the most contractions I've ever had in a one hour sitting. The Matria nurse counted 7 (I only caught 5 of them). So I had to drink a big cup of water, eat a snack, give myself a bolus of Terbutaline and re-monitor for another hour. The next session went better with only 3 contractions.

I've been taking it very easy. You're right, Vicki and mom. I know this will be the last chance to really relax and concentrate on me for about 18+ years (most likely even longer). But I've been feeling well and so it's hard to just let Becky and Billy do everything for me when I know I could do it myself. Becky's finding out just how obstinate I can be! Serg, you hit the nail right on the head when you said Billy and I are the 2 most stubborn people you know. You sound like you've been hanging out with us for years, or something!

Bucko leaves for her Vietnam trip today. Hope she has a safe trip and hurries back home! Billy says that you better not meet/bring home any new man from your world travels!

Hope everyone has a great day! Becky's making chicken salad for lunch to go along with my delicious high protein Boost drink. Maybe she'll quit her job after we get back home with the babies and be our nanny.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another day

Hello everyone. Moni and I had a productive day. I got off work at 10:30 a.m. (QT has been so helpful and understanding about our lives away from work), and picked Moni and Karen up to drop Karen off at the airport. We dropped her off at 11:20 to board her airplane. She was supposed to be home in KS at 9:19 tonight, but as of 9:40 she was still waiting to take off from Memphis. Moni and I would like thank Bill and Pat Sindelar and Corey Lehman for loaning us their loved one for a few days. Also...congrats to Bill on placing second in the world at the powerlifting championships in Prague. What a stud! It was nice having a new visitor.

After we dropped Karen off, we called Jacyln Tubre. She told us to come on up. We went to the NICU and met her, Cullen, Abbey, Tyger, and Emma. They were wonderful hosts. While we were there, Cullen decided that he wasn't happy with his CPAP nose prongs. He let us all know about it. Also, Jaclyn changed his "poopy" diaper, and he didn't like that either. At this point, I think that the crying is considered music to the parents' ears though. Jaclyn was a very comforting person to meet, and we left the hospital feeling a lot better.

When we returned home it was time to eat. I grilled some burgers and hot dogs. I think I grilled the burgers a little long, as they seemed a little dry to me, but the girls have been raised so well that they would not agree with me vocally (and Moni will eat anything, and Becky's dad is Phil). Moni and I took a nap after we ate, and we are getting ready to play some dominos and try to figure out a way to play 3 person pitch. By the way, we taught Karen the game of dominos and we must be great teachers because she hammered us. We are getting ready to throw down on a game with Becky.

We continue to miss everyone, and ask for prayers. We should know more about Danna's situation next Thursday when we have a repeat sono and appointment with Dr. Elliott.

Billy and Moni

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

New Goal

Hello everyone. This is our post-"Baby C" sono update. Our goal of 34 weeks has been changed. Our new goal is now 28 weeks. Baby C-Danna- hasn't done very well in the past two weeks. She has only gained 2 ounces. She weighs 1 pound and 1 ounce. All of her body functions are working, but her placenta is not working very well. Her placenta's blood pressure is low, and will eventually get lower. When that stops, she will stop growing inside the womb. When we reach that point, and we will definitely reach that point, we will have all 4 babies delivered. Dr. Elliott said that he has seen babies go for six weeks in this condition, but that our goal has changed from 34 to 28 weeks. If we went the full six weeks that he has seen babies do, that would put us at 31 weeks.

We spoke with the ne0natologist who we both really liked. She said that when we get around the 27 week mark (about October 22) Moni will be admitted to the hospital. While she is there, Danna will be monitored every day. That way, we'll be able to make a decision on delivery on a day-to-day basis.

As for the boys, they are all doing great. Forrest has taken Pius over in weight. Forrest now weighs 1 lb and 15 oz. Pius weighs 1 lb and 14 oz. Laine is still small too, but he is still in the 23rd percentile (based on a singleton pregnancy). He weighs 1 pound and 4 oz. I know that the question being asked now is about their weights. Laine only weighs 3 oz. more than Danna, but his placenta is functioning correctly. That is why we are now concerned about her.

All four of their heartbeats looked good. We didn't actually check each of their rates to the minute, but they all were within normal limits. We are still very excited, but the entire situation just got more real. We know that you have all been praying and thinking happy thougths, but now we are asking for overtime. Moni, Pius, Forrest, Laine, and especially Danna need the prayers now more than ever (and daddy, too).

By the way, on a happy note, Moni's buddy Karen got into town today. She will be here until Thursday afternoon, and it is so nice to have another visitor. Both Karen and Becky came with us to our sono and doctor appt today. It was good having the extra support and ears. We are getting ready to throw down on some pitch. Moni and I will probably be on the same team so as to erase any possible friction that could arise. That's about all of the new news from Phoenix. Can't wait to see you all.

Thank you guys,

Billy and Moni
P.S. Moni's clothes selection has dwindled significantly with the expanding belly. Sorry for the repeat outfit choices - I know it's a major fashion faux pas! Deal with it or send more clothes (Ryno and g-pa stubby). JK!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

25 week mark looming

Hello everyone. We just thought we would post a quick, little update. We are at the 25 week mark tomorrow, and boy are we pumped. Moni has only measured 4 contractions during the last three monitoring sessions. The last two have been contraction-free.

Becky made it home from "The Dub" this morning. She brought back some board games from Momma Marsha and Aunt Cathy. It looks like a decent selection of games. Moni finished her sixth book during our Phoenix stint. God bless James Patterson. We might take Steph and Kelly up on bringing down some more books.

We have decided that the Good Lord has put the Broncos in a funk so that the babies and I can concentrate on Moni fully. Or maybe Coach Shanahan has heard about our situation, and that is why he has decided to SUCK so badly at coaching. Despite their struggles, my wife, kids, and I have decided NOT to be like some fair-weather fans (KC Chief fans), and stick with our team through the obvious low time.

Our next post will probably come after our next appointment on Tuesday. We MAY have more pictures at that point. We love all, thank all, and can't wait to see all.

Billy and Moni

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Patience is a virtue...

First off...patience is a virtue, possess it if you can. Seldom found in women, and never in a man. Mama budda taught this little quip to Monica and needs to start taking her own advice (and Mama Vicki too). Uncle Ryno just wants more pictures as proof that he is NOT the fattest kid in the family anymore. So we say...FINE!

The reason we haven't posted until this point is because we knew Aunt Rosie was coming to town. We had planned to take pictures and post after our evening. Our evening is over now, so here we go. Rose and her good friend Sue came over around 5:00 and we went to dinner. Sue's son, Cody, met us there at the restaurant. We had a tremendous Mexican dinner at Arriba's, and followed that with a new game of cards. Sue and Cody taught us a game called "Golden Cadillac". We hope it replaces "quarters" at Graf family functions. Moni won both big deal.

Billy started at QT. That's right...the same QT that "sets the gas prices in Wichita". He is enjoying being out of the house, making money, and "bartending" without having to hang out with customers for too long. It could be a good opportunity for when we make it home to Wichita. Moni thinks Billy looks so handsome in his new maroon shirts, khakis, and nametag...and Billy agrees with big deal.

Moni is doing well at home with her terbutaline pump and uterine monitor. Our last reading only showed one contraction and very little uterine irritatability in the one hour monitoring session. Dr. Elliott's goal was to keep it under 5 contractions an hour. She is getting used to managing the pump. She has only accidentally pulled the leg catheter out twice...we are so proud of her.

Our upcoming events this week include: Broncos taking over sole posession of first place in the AFC West on Sunday, hitting the 25 week mark on Monday, Karen coming to town on Tuesday, our little Danna getting her very own sonogram (also on Tuesday), Billy getting to take off his "in training" tag on Wednesday, and Women's Murder Club TV series starting on Friday. Yes, our life does revolve around TV now. So you can see that many updates are just relax and keep on posting.

We love you all,

Billy, Monica, Pius James, Forrest Michael, Danna Lynn, and Laine Ryan