Wednesday, August 27, 2008

(Not-So-Rare) Video Footage

Okay, twisted my arm. This post is incomplete. I had grand ideas for GQ (Graf Quad) personality profiles, but that'll have to wait. These videos are getting stagnant and I have TONS more pics and videos to put out here.

In other news, Billy started back up at Wichita State University as a full-time student. With the babies, him also working on top of school and me working as well, we have little time or energy left over for other things.

So, here is a video to hold you over until I can get something more in-depth together.


P.S. Thank you all for the GREAT comments! We really appreciate all the support and knowing who's reading up on us.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What Kind of Bees Make Milk????


Yes, I'm aware that that joke is SO second grade, but I couldn't help myself. I didn't know it would flop that badly though! Man, I think I even hear a few crickets chirping in the background (probaby those little Tubre crickets all the way from the swamp).

Mooooving on.... This post is dedicated to celebrating the fact that this milk well has FINALLY dried up. It took about a month to do, but I am SO over it and have in fact, "hung up the shields".

Okay, so call me anal (although inquisitive is a better word choice) but I have kept track of how much I've ever pumped from about 1 week after delivery to present. That's right, folks...8 months of being milked like a cow. My kids better thank me someday. Maybe when they're at some Ivy League school and earning their 4th Nobel Prize.

There have been many people who expressed interest in learning more about what we fed the babies in regards to breastmilk or formula. The truth is...we've used both since the babies were around a couple months old. Before that, they got all breastmilk with enough formula powder added to make it higher in calories. Then the little piggies figured out that eating is fun and we went down to "regular" breastmilk, which is typically calculated at about 20 kcals per ounce (the same as regular formulas). Well, around that time they started eating more than I was making. And I wasn't about to add even more pumpings into my day just so I could meet their demand. These ta-tas were overworked as it was and shoulda been making double time for all their efforts! So, we started making their bottles with "mostly" breastmilk and then added in mixed formula to bring it up to their current volumes at that time. As they started eating more and more, the ratio of breastmilk to formula became more and more inversely proportionate. By that time, I was almost done weaning myself off the pump.

Anyway, after keeping track of my pump volumes (NOT including the times I would actually nurse the babies) I totaled 8+ months worth of numbers up. Here are my stats:

November 25, 2007 to July 15, 2008 Total Milk Production:

337,120 mL (or cc's)

about 337 liters

about 11,238 ounces

around 88 gallons

Now for the monthly, weekly, daily AVERAGES....

1606 ounces per month

402 ounces per week

54 ounces per day

And just for fun, I went back and looked up my most productive day. On May 26th, I totaled 2120 mL, which is almost 71 ounces, in a 24 hr time period. Moo, moo, baby! I guess watching the Olympics made me want to see what my record was set at. Michael Phelps....You've got NOTHING on me (except maybe one meel-li-yon dollars. Mwah,ha,ha,ha! - to be read in the style of Dr. Evil).

Also, for shits and giggles, I approximated the savings by not having to buy as much formula. 88 gallons of milk is equivalent to about (125) 12.9 oz cans of Similac Advance. With tax, each of those cans runs about $14.00. So that was around $1,750.00 worth of savings. Not too shabby (but I'll admit, I thought it would be more than that).

Not to say pumping that long with quadruplets wasn't challenging. But it was MY time that I learned to appreciate. I read several books (in 20-30 minute intervals) and had lots of time to think about things. Overall, it was a good experience, minus the 2 bouts of mastitis and the ginormous melons I had to deal with. I would do it again and would encourage any new mom to do it, as well.

Well, that's really about all I have to say about that. Of course, I couldn't do a post without showing off our babies! I've been meaning to post the pictures from their 6 month (turned out to be more like 7 month) photo shoot. My nurse co-worker at the hospital, Gary, also does photography on the side. When he lived in Japan, he was an underwater photographer as well as fashion photographer. He's got mad skillz. And what's even better, he brought his wife, Tatiana, with him to OUR HOUSE and so the babies were in their comfort zone and we had extra hands to help. They're a great team. I asked Gary if he'd mind me putting his studio web address out here in blog land, and he gave me the okay. So look him up if you're needing any portraits taken and want great pictures at very reasonable prices (plus you get the rights to all the photos he takes - he even burns you the CD). The address is:

Here's a sampling of the hundreds we had to choose from....

Danna with 2 of her bodyguards, Forrest and Laine

Just the boys

Until next time, we'll be anxiously awaiting your comments!


The G to the R to the A to the F's (gearing up for football season - Go Broncos!)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Reunions and Weddings and Visits. Oh My!

Okay, I've been working on this post for about 2 weeks now....time to buckle down and get this gig posted. We've had good reason for our delay. Every member of the Graf family is currently sick with the exception of Billy. It's been a whirlwind of breathing treatments, Tylenol, Benadryl, and nasal aspirators. I'm telling you, you've never seen so much snot... not to mention the fussiness! I think we're going to be forced back to being germ-a-phobic, paranoid parents like we were a couple of months ago. Most importantly, making everyone hand sanitize before touching the kids. I just can't deal with a continuous stream of illness, because when one gets sick, they ALL get sick.

Laine has the routine down pat. He even holds his own mask.

As the title suggests, we've been very busy with lots of events. I'd say we all had fun all the time, but that would be lying. As it turns out, some things just aren't as entertaining if you have to be responsible for 4 babies at the same time.

My sister and brother-in-law, Emmy and Andy, were able to take a quick hop from Germany to Topeka on July 25th. Our cousin, Deena, picked them up and met up with our entourage in Emporia. It was a crowded van, but we had a good time talking the whole way home to Wichita. Em and Andy were able to stay until Sunday, then headed back to Heinsburg. Talk about jet lag! Hope you two survived that Monday at work!

Me, Mollie, Rachel, Mom and Andy piled into the FRONT of the van

Mom, Mollie, Rachel and Emmy after our lunch in Emporia

Maddie Jo, Em and Mia squished in the BACK of the van

Emily and Andy getting ready to head back to Topeka for their flight back to Germany

On Saturday, July 26th, we loaded everyone up and went to the Haag family reunion at Cousin MacAnarney's lake. We stayed out of the water, but got to see alot of out-of-towners (as well as some of our "regular" lifesavers i.e. Aunt Cathy and Aunt Ginny and their families). That evening we headed to Billy's cousin's wedding. Congrats Jennea and Jim! Hope the honeymoon in Mexico is rockin'!

Laine, Danna and Pius catching a few zzz's in the boat house at the lake. Surprise, surprise....Forrest refused to have anything to do with a nap.

Danna and her Aunt Lainie at Jim and Jennea's wedding

Cousin Megan (Billy's goddaughter) and Forrest at the wedding

Pius with his Great Aunt Gloria at the wedding

Laine and Billy (multi-tasking) at the wedding. Gotta get some money for the dollar dance!

We've also spent a lot of time over at Grammy and Grampy Graf's house, playing in the pool and spending the night. Just one big, happy family! I think everyone is ready to go home (and for us to leave) after a few days, but we sure have a good time. Thanks Mike, Vicki and Lainie for putting up with us and helping us SO much!

Do not try cleaning your computer screen. Yes, that's a fly on Pius's brow. Bugs love him.

A happy, bug-free Pius at the poolside

Frosty gettin' friendly with Big Bird and Cookie Monster. Thanks Cousin Jack for loaning us all your toys!

Laineman, Banana girl and Daddy at the poolside

Grampa Stubby playing with the rugrats

Grampy can get their attention!

Billy came up with a GREAT idea (please note that this is dripping with sarcasm) to have a family grocery shopping day. We braved the store in our Choo-Choo wagon, got lots of surprised looks, some nice comments and were in the store probably as long as it took to load them up. We could tell it was time to go shortly after arriving, but it was a fun venture. The babies were exhausted after being out in the 105+ degree heat and fell asleep on the ride home. I forgot to get "in-store" pics, but then again, the opportunity didn't quite present itself. Ergo, a post-shopping trip photo.

The squad with one of our VERY BEST regular helpers, Melody. She has been my friend since nursing school and saves our lives every week!

The princess has spoken, "Peace out, my people!"

Next on the agenda.....all about the boobs! Stay tuned.


Moni et al

P.S. In all of the excitement and events, I lost my phone. So, sorry if anyone has tried to get ahold of me (Jaclyn). I had to dig out my old school phone, so now I'm rockin it like Zack Morris on "Saved by the Bell". Okay, so maybe it's not quite the size of a brick, but it's pretty frickin' big!

P.S.S. Huge happy birthday wishes to GG Bucko! I won't divulge her age, but I will say that she's not in her 60's anymore. We had a fun surprise party for her (another event I forgot to mention before) and now she's out of the country galavanting around Europe. Thankfully, she'll be home soon to resume her title as helper "1B" (don't worry, Lainie - you're still helper "1A", but don't get too comfortable).