Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Surprises Galore!

Hi everyone. Yes, the rumors are true. Moni and I escaped the confines of Phoenix for a little while and visited home for a couple days. We had two free flight vouchers saved up from our return trip debacle from Germany last March, and when our nurses and doctors found that out, they told us to escape for a couple days because it won't happen again for about 24-53 years. We had mixed emotions as we flew out of Phoenix (Moni cried and I remained the strong one), but we had a wonderful time. Frank the Tank was one of three people who knew we were planning our trip to Wichita. He picked us up Thursday afternoon at the airport and we went and surprised everybody (Moni's parents first, then my parents, then Bucko and Lainie, then the Selenke clan who were helping to set up for the wedding, etc, etc, etc). It was so much fun. We felt like "rock stars." This weekend, Deutschmomma (cousin Steph Graf) turned thirty and celebrated the blessed event at Margarita's on Friday. My cousin Katie Duling got married to Eric Mohr on Saturday, and we were happy to be able to be there for that as well. Also, the Haag cousins, aunts and uncles had a get together at Players on Sunday. We got to see so many friends and family on our visit back home.

Billy and Moni's sister, Mollie, at Margarita's

Mostly Graf cousins at Margarita's (the birthday girl is in the burgundy coat)

Friends Delane (plus 2), Moni (minus 4) and Karen (plus 1) at Player's

The nurses told us that the kids had quite the party in their parents' absence. They all grew so much and they really looked grown-up when we got home. They were planning on sending Forrest home with us yesterday, but he couldn't quite pass his car seat test. He passed it this afternoon, though, and right now it's just me and him watching The Sugar Bowl. We are having a blast. He cut the cheese and I gave him a high-five and told him that he didn't have to apologize because there weren't any ladies around. It was awesome!

Forrest getting ready to pass his car seat trial

Each of the babies are doing pretty well.

Pius James: Dr. Martin told us today that he might be able to come home tomorrow. Right now, the fact that he isn't taking all of his feeds is what is holding him back. He doesn't quite eat all of his meals so they have to feed him the rest each time through his nose. As of this afternoon, he had taken 5 feeds in a row, and Dr. Martin said if he kept it up he would be able to come home tomorrow. He isn't on any oxygen, and just has his feeding tube left. He now weighs 6 pounds, 10 ounces!
Big Boy Pius without any oxygen

Forrest Michael: We have already touched on Frosty, but we were told that other than his little car seat episode he had a great weekend. He bottled every feed, and didn't have any oxygen issues. Basically he was just working his nurses with his charm (except for Saturday night because his nurse was Doug, and they just chilled together all night). We forgot to get his most current weight before we left the hospital. I guess we were excited or something. A couple of days ago, he was 6 pounds, 7 ounces, so I'm sure he's close to Pius in weight. Since he's been home, we've noticed that he sure is a smiley baby. It's always fun to see that facial expression even if he doesn't know what he's doing.
Forrest smiling about being at home on the couch watching football with dad

Danna Lynn: She continues to try to do as well as her big brothers with her feedings. She does a nice job about every three feedings. She wears out easily and she isn't consistent quite yet. Her oxygen dips when she is eating, but that's about the only time. She has developed quite the personality and is gaining a reputation as the little diva (the nurses are polite and call her "feisty"). She is currently weighing in at 3 pounds, 1 ounce. Woo-hoo! We surpassed the 3 pound mark!

Laine Ryan: He is still probably the farthest away from going home at this time. He really is struggling with the bottling but his nurse reminded us that he is still supposed to be inside mama. He chokes quite a bit, and when that happens he quits breathing. The doctors have assured us that the light will click on any day. It just takes some of them a little longer than others. He still seems to be the most alert. I really think that he knows our voices, and he always seems to be awake whenever we are around. He just looks at everything and has a way of capturing your attention and heart. He now weighs 4 pounds, 9 ounces. He's getting so big!
Buddies Laine and Forrest


Thank you all for being patient and not sending too much hate mail about our non-posting. The posts may start being a little fewer and farther between with Forrest home and Pius not far behind. We're already feeling sleep deprived after only 1 day and 1 baby. Always worrying if he's eating enough, sleeping in the correct position, still breathing (you know, that old acorn!), etc. Thanks, Jac, for the spreadsheet template you've been using to keep track of eating and diapering. We're already putting it to use.
Moni's brother, Paul and his girlfriend, Shawnda from Albuquerque are here to visit for a few days. Becky, Moni, Paul and Shawnda had a good time going out to dinner tonight while the boys stayed in and ordered pizza. After dinner, they went to meet the other Graf babies in the NICU. They'll be going back home on Thursday, but we look forward to hanging out with them again on Wednesday.

Paul and Shawnda at the restaurant, Z Tejas

Also wanted to send out a huge thank you to Moni's Uncle Tom and Aunt Joyce Dewey and family for the Christmas gifts. It was good seeing cousin Erin at Margarita's on Friday where she gave us a heads up on the card being in the mail. Also wanted to thank the "Great Aunties" for the quilted blankets, Syl and MaryJo Seiler for the big, crocheted-edge receiving blankets, Junior and Karen Jaax for the multiple burp rags and monogrammed blankets, and for the Duling family for all the outfits. We enjoyed seeing all of you at Katie and Eric's wedding!

B,M,P,F,D,L Graf


Anonymous said...

It sounds like everyone is doing great. Thanks for another update. Ohhhhh...and your surprise trips sounds fabulous.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the awesome post and update. Meg and Marla said they saw you guys at Old Chicago. The pictures are awesome and the babies are the cutest ones I have ever seen, except for mine you course (HaHa). No really, they are precious. I can't wait until you guys get back home to be with all your family. I am so excited about Forrest coming home and I know the rest will be right behind. What a wonderful New Years present. You all are in our prayers and thoughts daily and don't forget that. Let us know when you all make it home because we have stuff for you. Take care and keep posting, we love it.
Lachelle, Kevin, Rylea and Reese

Anonymous said...

Very good post. Excited that you got to go home. We're getting ready for an Uncle Jim visit, so we'll get a small taste of family.

Keep hanging in there. Love and love from us. I meant that.

Uncle "Sharpe" Tom, Aunt Julie, Jolie and Logan.

3rd to post, not bad.

Anonymous said...

I didn't think it was possible for them to get any cuter. I bet that is a great feeling having Forrest home and Pius on the way. Great pictures.
Deb and Dave

Anonymous said...

It was good to see you Moni. You look wonderful. The babies are as cute as ever. Can't wait to see them in person.

Anonymous said...

Billy and Monica,
I just wanted to say I had a great time this past weekend hanging out with the both of you. It's good to hear that Forrest has made it home and that Pius is not far behind. Billy, I can already tell you are going to blame all the "gas passing" on the quads when it's probably going to be you half the time. You shouldn't do that to your innocent children. As for the little rascals, they look so big in those pictures, and I can't wait to see them again in person! Once again, thanks for letting me be a part of the 96 hours of "fun." Frank the Tank enjoyed being a part of the surprises, pulling out some new dance moves, and just hangin out with the "celebrities."


EMO said...

Congrats! I am so excited that Forrest is at home. That is awesome. The pictures are great, Quinn loved the big purple binky that Danna had. Of course it is fabulous that you are starting to bring the babies home but it is sad because I am sure there will be less and less posts... ( I have definately noticed that on the Tubre site) Oh well. I will try and be patient. Have a great week!!!

Andria said...

How fun! What a great excuse for not posting sooner! ;) The babies have grown a lot it seems! And their weights are increasing nicely...close to full-term at this point! Sounds like the bumps in the road are flattening out and it's going to be smooth sailing. It won't be long now! Loved all the pics! Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Hey guys!! Thanks for the post! The kiddos are so adorable! We loved the pics! It was so good to see you when you were home. We miss you so much back in Wichita! Can't wait until you ALL come home!

I am sure it is different having Forrest at home. It must be such a change! They are easing you guys into it, imagine all four at home!?!?! Eeeeks! But that will happen soon enough!

You guys take care and enjoy as much sleep as you can! We miss you (yes, still miss you--even if you were JUST home!) and can't wait until you are home for good!

Dan and Delane

Jennea said...

It was great to be able to see you two on Friday. It's even greater that you get to start bringing babies home! That means you're even closer to coming home to Ta town. Love you and continue to keep you in my prayers!


Anonymous said...

Baby dolls ... each one of them. Thanks for the pictures. Can't wait for the video of them crying in harmony. May your 2008 be filled with more wonderful surprise (i.e., long peaceful night sleeping for all of you.) Aunt GGr and Sammy

Rachel Haag said...

Great post you guys! The pictures are priceless and it's amazing how much cuter the babies keep getting! Danna is even looking more like a baby! ;-) Give Forrest a hi-5 from me and see you guys in a while! Love you and amazingly, already miss you!
Aunty RayRay

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the new post - I was wondering where you were but figured you were just busy with the babies. That is so exciting you were able to go to Wichita - great news. When will you and the family returning there for good??? Love,
Aunt Mary Ann & Uncle Fritz

Billy Graf said...

Whenever Danna and Laine say so!

Anonymous said...

Oh my!! I just noticed how much Forrest looks like Billy!! Not sure why I am so shocked by this---kids DO tend to look like their parents!! I guess it just hit me!


Karen said...

It was so awesome to see you guys, even though you didn't have the decency (did I spell that right?) to tell us your scheme until you were already here! That's alright, because you're a couple you can't help but love! I love the pics of Forrest and Laine being buds. They look a lot alike. And Forrest looks like such a big boy in the carseat! I can only imagine what it's like to have a baby (or more) at home... Anyway, back to the OU/WVU game(Hey, gotta root for someone since NU's been out so early). Talk to you all soon. Karen

deutschmomma said...

Ahhhh! Babies are coming home - how fabulous is that! Thank you so much for my birthday surprise - although it made me realize all the more how much I miss you! Everyone at work was commenting on how much fun you guys are. I agree with Delane about the babies looking like their 'rents; Pius reminds me of a drooly Billy Joe - have your mommas put baby BJ and Moni pics online so we can compare ;) Love you lots - congrats and SLEEP WHEN THE BABY(IES) SLEEP!!!!


Anonymous said...

Pius looks JUST like Monica in that picture. Adorable!
Danielle and Mark

Anonymous said...

Forrest looks like his Uncle Ryan. (Yes, Ryan, you now have to share your title of most-handsome-dude-in-all-the-world.) Aunt GGr and Sammy

Anonymous said...

Glad everything is going so well. How exciting to have Forrest home! The babies get cuter with every new post.

Sorry I missed you guys Sunday night. It sounds like it was fun. I thought I would be able to make it to Players and I really wanted to, but as the day wore on, I wore out. I was a little wary of bringing a 2 day old baby out anyway. I am glad you guys got to come home for a few days.

All is going well with our baby (Erin Noel). She has slept well 3 of the 4 nights she has been home. I can't complain. She is such a sweet little thing. She was 7 lbs 6 oz when she was born and SO little. I kept thinking of how small Danna must have been (and still is) since she was only about 1/3 Erin's size. WOW! That is hard to even imagine.

I better get something done while I can. Keep posting.


Anonymous said...

Yea KU! I picked Rachel out in that crowd at the Orange Bowl. Isn't that amazing? Did you get the pictures I sent? Also was just wondering if Pius got to come home. I can't wait to hold them all!
Love ya'll!
Mama Budda

Anonymous said...

Great post you guys!! They get more and more beautiful every time!! I had a blast with you guys at home! I can't wait until you are home for good!! Give those little angels a kiss from Aunt Lainie!!
Love you tons and miss you big time,
Auntie Lainie!!

Anonymous said...

Loved the surprise visit at work from Monica. You look beautiful. You and Billy are gonna do great with the kids starting to come home. When you get back here, it will be awesome. We can't wait to come help. Hope to see you again soon,
Denis and Barb
and the Wesley night crew.

Anonymous said...

Hi Moni & Billy,
A belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I am so glad everyone is doing so well. Thanks for the update and I miss you all.
GET ALL THE SLEEP YOU CAN NOW. There is never a dull moment with all four home. I got the Christmas card...tooooo precious.
DeeDee & Dano

Anonymous said...

Hi Billy and Monica-
It was great to see you at the wedding! I hope you had a great trip and that the flight back wasn't bad. I love the latest pictures. All of them are growing so fast and look really healthy. It is so cute seeing them snuggled up together! Hopefully we will all be seeing you guys again soon (for good I mean)!

Love ya-

Anonymous said...

Stacy, forgive me but I need a Graf "s-quad" fix. (You have been a good gate keeper.)

Pretty please? A note with their weights would be sufficient.
Aunt GGr and Sammy

Anonymous said...

Hello--hope all is going well and that no news is good news. The last pictures posted were very cute----darling babies!!! I hope that you are having fun with at least a couple of them 24/7 and that the others will continue to grow and figue out the suck, swallow, breathe routine and join you soon. Will keep you in our prayers. Tamra

Anonymous said...

Hey its been awhile since I've gotten on here I am so glad to hear Forest is home. Don't worry Pius will be home causing trouble in no time. They all are getting so big compaired to how tiny they were when they were born. I can't wait till I get my turn to hold and spoil them.