Greetings from Austin, Texas. We are the people of the sun. I say we are the people of the sun because sometimes the sun feels so close that you are afraid it is going to burn a hole in the top of your head and scorch your soul. I love Texas. It's my home and the home of my family. My boys were born in Texas, making them True Texans. This is something that Mom and Dad can't lay claim to. However, Texas is hot. The humidity is high and the sweat pours out of your body draining the very life out of you. I may not be from Texas, but I have earned the title of Texan. I'm not complaining mind you, I know that it is hot everywhere this summer. However, it has been pointed out to me that when something happens to me, it is worse then when it happens to other people. At least I think it is, and that's really all that matters.
Enough about the weather. How are them boys? Well the boys are Rocking and they are Rolling. I just spoke to their night NICU nurse, and she told me the following:
Cash: Cash weighs 5 lbs 14.6 ounces. He is taking all his feedings from a bottle, keeping his temperature up nicely, and is in a crib very close to his brothers.
Zane: Zane weighs 5 lbs 5.8 ounces. He just got his feeding tube out this morning and is taking all his feedings from a bottle. He is also doing well with his temperature and his crib is right beside his brother Cade.
Cade: Cade weighs 5 lbs 5.9 ounces. He is taking all his feedings from a bottle and keeping his temperature up nicely.
Now, we did think that Mr. Cash was going to be able to come home this week. However, he has been having one heart rate drop per day, and this means that he has to stay in the hospital. Each baby has to go seven days without a heart rate drop before they get to come home. This is extremely frustrating, because we are RIGHT THERE. We are right on the cusp of bringing them home. In addition to this, they are so alert and awake it's awesome. They look at you and make little noises like they are trying to talk. They grab your nose and your ears and squeeze. Cade even threw his pacifier at me and he used his left hand which made me very excited about his Major League pitching career. There is nothing more dominating in this world then a southpaw who throws heat, and Cade had good velocity with his pacifier. He brought his left arm over the top and rolled his shoulder. He showed really good form and I was particularly impressed with his release. I see good things on the horizon.
Back to the Heart Rate Drops. These are very common for premature babies. They usually grow out of them at 36 to 37 weeks, and the boys were 36 weeks on Tuesday. When I spoke to the nurse this morning, she attributed the heart rate drops to just being little. They are feeding every three hours all by bottle, and this wears a little guy out. This is when the drops usually occur. Cash had one last night and Cade had one yesterday. Zane hasn't had one in a while, so hopefully he is over them. We will wait and see. Yesterday, we spoke with Dr. Cipriani about the heart rate drops. Christy is one of the nurses that has been with them the past several days. She thought that Cash might be having them because of reflux issues. She asked Carrie if she or I had acid reflux problems. I have had them for a long time, so Carrie told the nurse and then the nurse told the Doctor, and this conversation took place:
Dr. Cipriani: It is possible that the pauses (heart rate drops) can be attributed to reflux. I understand that you have had issues with this in the past. Have you been on any medication for this?
Me: Yep. I have been on medication.
Dr. Cipriani: That could be what is causing Cash's trouble.
Me: My acid reflux is worse when I have been drinking whiskey.
Dr. Cipriani: Yes, alcohol does make reflux worse.
Me: True. I find that if I just lay off of the whiskey I'm a lot better.
Dr. Cipriani: I see you have pinpointed the problem.
Me: I sure have. I doubt Cash has been on the whiskey, but you never know. He is a Krug.
Dr. Cipriani: We will wait a few days and see if he gets better before we run any tests.
Me: Sounds good to me. I'll try to keep everyone off the whiskey, myself included.
The doctor smiled at this point, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't know exactly how to take me.
Anyhow, that's the story on the boys. As they say at the hospital, we will let the boys decide when they are ready to come home. They will let us know when they are ready. I do know that Carrie and I are ready. We can taste victory and it has us on edge.
I have been trying to keep myself occupied and keep myself from worrying too much. This is hard to do. Simple distractions are a good thing. One thing that keeps me going are good hamburgers. There is never a time when I won't eat a hamburger. Even if I just had a hamburger, I would STILL like to have a hamburger. Carrie likes hamburgers too, but my passion for hamburgers is unrivaled. We have been trying various hamburgers for the past year, and I would like to share some of my favorites with you.
Mighty Fine Burgers Fries and Shakes:
This is an Austin based company with three locations. Their burgers are awesome made with 100% pure beef from cattle with absolutely no steroids or growth hormones. The menu at this place is simple. Their name includes the whole menu. You can get a hot dog there, but why? Their shakes are hand dipped with blue bell ice cream. The shakes are a high point, and a must if you visit Mighty Fine. Their fries are cut on the premises and are extremely good. This is one of my favorites.
5 Guys Burgers and Fries
This is a national chain that we just tried for the first time the other day. I have to say I really enjoyed it. Once again the menu is simple and the burgers are great. There are a few more options here and I had the cheeseburger and added grilled mushrooms. The fries were great and Carrie pointed out that they get extra credit for having Malt Vinegar to dip your fries in. No milkshakes here, and that could be considered a demerit. However, if you have seen the baby room video, you know that I do not suffer from a milk shake deficiency. I really don't need them, but they are so good. We will definitely be returning to 5 Guys milkshakes or not.
I know, this is a national chain and it can be very inconsistent. However, when you get a good one, a Fuddrucker's burger is a great thing. I like the menu options, and the beef is exceptional at these places. I like how they are made to order and they have sweet potato fries. I'm sure most of you have tried them, but they seem to be making a resurgence and doing well here in Texas. They are generally independently owned and operated. This can explain part of the inconsistency, but when you get a good one, it's really good. Shakes are good here too.
Sam's Burger Joint
This is a place in San Antonio where the band plays. They have incredible hamburgers. This place has the vintage old time hamburger joint feel that I absolutely love. The buns are toasted to perfection and the meat is superb. If you are ever in San Antonio, go here.
This is an Austin place on West 6th Street. They have various burgers on the menu and I have enjoyed each time I have been there. Carrie hasn't been there yet, and maybe I can talk her into a trip someday soon.
All these hamburger joints are good ones. I would recommend them to anyone. In the comment section, please tell us about your favorite places to get a burger in your city. People from all over read the blog and we would love to hear from you. Leaving a comment will provide a great public service. This will allow the reader to know where to stop for a great burger if he or she finds themselves in your town.
Now for some photos:
This is Cade. That little wound on his head is where an IV went bad. It's healing up very nicely and should be gone soon. He is starting to act a bit like Zane. Pretty demanding and getting louder by the day. They are all three very noisy babies.
Here is Zane. As of this morning, that feeding tube you see is gone. If it were up to Zane, it would be all about Zane, all the time.
Here is Cash. He is very alert and is always looking around. Yesterday we gave him a bath. When we first put him in the water, he screamed bloody murder for all of one second. Then he smiled.
These last two are from yesterday when I got to hold Cade and Zane at the same time. The boys can't wait to get home and watch their first Red Sox game. Cade told me that the Sox are going to turn their season around and make the play-offs. He is also ready to pitch if needed.