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December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!!!

The shortage of entries has obviously been a result of the holidays.  I hope your Christmas was as enjoyable as ours was.  We had a great time even though it's sad that it's drawing to an end.  Soon it's back to work, back to school and back to winter.

However, in honor of the new year rolling in, I thought I'd list out some highlights from our 2006.  Please feel free to leave me a comment and tell me yours as well!  I'd love to hear them.

Highlights of 2006 in no particular order:

  1. Watching all of Haley's firsts without missing *any* of them.
  2. Seeing the trio off to their first day of kindergarten.
  3. Participating in our very first organized sport, tee ball, and watching the three learn how to play.
  4. Watching Jordyn take her first ballet class...and what a difference from the first class to the last.
  5. Driving around Sauganash with my four kids and hearing them ALL shout out in excitement at the beautiful Christmas displays.  An additional note about this particular item is this was a long standing family tradition in my family, and somehow I felt my grandma was with us.
  6. Hearing the squeals of joy on Christmas morning.
  7. Visiting with my family in Tennessee multiple times, including seeing my cousin Lisa's new house (rebuilt after a fire destroyed theirs).
  8. Having a drink with my brother who turned 21(!).
  9. Finally having my house feel like 'home' after the remainder of it was painted (thanks mom and Tony).
  10. Celebrating our 10 year anniversary with my husband, the love of my life.

I can't really complain about 2006 - it was a pretty good year for us!  I hope yours was great as well, and your 2007 is wonderful.  Have a safe and happy New Year holiday, and see you in 2007! 


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December 22, 2006

Final Countdown

I know how to do a countdown clock, because I put one on my friend/colleague/business partner's web site but I am too lazy to look up the code and do it here.  I am also confident that my readers can count down from 3!  Holy crud.  3 days until Christmas.

Before I go any further, I must make a public thank you to my friend Khyle.  He helped me with my work problem involving Access.  What a huge weight off my shoulders.  That silly problem had me completely stuck, and without his help, who knows what I would have done.  So again Khyle, a HUGE thank you!  You are 'da man!  :-D

I hope everyone has a very enjoyable weekend and a very Merry Christmas.  We will be spending time with friends and some family, and I'm sure plenty of time on the web cam with the family members that live in places afar.  The kids are getting so excited at the thought of opening their presents and seeing what Santa will bring.  I wish we were getting some of the snow that dumped on Denver, but all we are getting is rain, rain and more rain.  The kids will be off of school for two weeks, and I don't have to work again until January 2.  Yahoo!

If you haven't done much baking, I will close with a cookie recipe for you.  Many of you will recognize this from year's past, but it is worth repeating because the last two paragraphs make me chuckle every time.  Merry Christmas!!!!!


Great recipe, make sure the read & follow the instructions carefully. This has been passed down for generations.

Holiday Tequila Cookies

1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup (two sticks) butter
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups dried fruit (dried cranberries or raisins)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
2 cups all purpose flour
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila (silver or gold, as desired)

First, sample the Cuervo to check quality. Take a large bowl. Check the Cuervo to be sure it is of the highest quality. Pour another 4 ounces in a measuring cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of the butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon sugar. Beat again.

At this point, it is best to make sure the Cuervo is still OK. Try another 4 ounces, just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break two leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit, picking the frigging fruit off the floor. Mixx on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers, just pry it loose with a screwdriver.

Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift 2 cups of salt or something. Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find.

Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner.

Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.

Sappy Foliday!

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December 17, 2006

Help(?!) and Enjoy the Week

Ok, we are now 8 short days away from Christmas.  I took some vacation time, so there are only 4 more working days of the year left for me....I am desperate.  Someone has to know someone who knows someone, right?


I am trying to develop a database that seemed simple in concept, but is proving to be more complex in theory.  I am not a programmer by nature, so I am flying by the seat of my pants using some prior knowledge and online resources.  I am stuck right now.  Specifically my problem lies in trying to do a Query by Form (QBF) and passing the results along to another form.  The only resources I can find that are even close involve code that is WAY over my head.  I'm pretty fast to catch on to most things, but this is beyond me.  There has to be another way.  For goodness sakes, I can pass the QBF along to a query and that works just fine, it's just that I need it to bring up a form instead!  PLEASE INTERNET, someone out there HELP ME!  I really wanted to get this database rolling before the end of the year but I don't see a way around this roadblock.  Thanks!

OK.....Aside from that, wow, 8 days...probably down to 7 or less as some of you read this...until Christmas.  I cannot believe it.  Part of that saddens me.  I just don't want this time of year to end.  But I guess we all have to find a way to carry over the happiness and joy into the long winter months that lie ahead.  I did take off some time from work so I can fully enjoy the remainder of the holiday season doing what I love best: spending time with family and friends, cooking, baking, reiminscing, driving around looking at lights; the whole nine yards.

We visited with Aaron's family last weekend (weekend of 12/8) and most of the weekend was very fun.  We exchanged gifts with my family (currenly in TN - they drove up to visit us) which was a blast.  All 4(!) of my siblings were there, along with my mom and my brother's long time girlfriend.  Our visits are always too short and too far in between for me, but it was a great time while it lasted.  Aaron's parents were generous enough to let us use their basement to celebrate, and it was very appreciated.

We also celebrated our neice Emily's 2nd birthday.  Can't believe she's already 2!  We ran out of time so we weren't able to open all our gifts with Aaron's family, but at least we were able to swap so nobody has to worry about sending them through the mail.  However, the one gift that we did want opened by the grandparents was a web cam.  Aaron and I have been using them since he travels so much, and it's great.  We decided that this year, all the grandparents would get a web cam, and it will be so much fun to talk AND SEE everyone!  I forsee lots of fun conversations in our future.  Remember growing up and watching the Jetsons?  It's pretty cool.

This current weekend, I finished up our Christmas cards.  Holy cow, it is amazing how many people are on our list.  It really warms my heart.  But of course the best part for me is checking the mailbox.  I love all the cards we receive most of all!  I am such a sap.  But that's ok; that's what makes me, me.  And that 'me' is going to do my best to make this Christmas a special one for my family.  And that's why I need to have the time off with them...so please, someone help me with my work problem so I can put it to rest?!  ;-)  (pretty please?)

So everyone, please enjoy this next week.  It's going to go way too fast for us all!  "It's a Wonderful Life" will join the Christmas movie rotation now.  Gotta save the best for last.  It really IS a wonderful life...I hope it is in your world as well.


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December 12, 2006

A Public Service Announcement

Recently, it has been brought to my attention that not everyone is aware of what "stomach bugs" are, and how to contain them.  Because of that, I thought it would be good to refresh everyone's memory.  The following is taken from The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s web site: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/gastro/faq.htm

What is viral gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis means inflammation of the stomach and small and large intestines. Viral gastroenteritis is an infection caused by a variety of viruses that results in vomiting or diarrhea. It is often called the "stomach flu," although it is not caused by the influenza viruses.

What causes viral gastroenteritis?

Many different viruses can cause gastroenteritis, including rotaviruses, noroviruses, adenoviruses, type 40 or 41, sapoviruses, and astroviruses. Viral gastroenteritis is not caused by bacteria (such as Salmonella or Escherichia coli) or parasites (such as Giardia), or by medications or other medical conditions, although the symptoms may be similar. Your doctor can determine if the diarrhea is caused by a virus or by something else.

What are the symptoms of viral gastroenteritis?

The main symptoms of viral gastroenteritis are watery diarrhea and vomiting. The affected person may also have headache, fever, and abdominal cramps ("stomach ache"). In general, the symptoms begin 1 to 2 days following infection with a virus that causes gastroenteritis and may last for 1 to 10 days, depending on which virus causes the illness.

Is viral gastroenteritis a serious illness?

For most people, it is not. People who get viral gastroenteritis almost always recover completely without any long-term problems. Gastroenteritis is a serious illness, however, for persons who are unable to drink enough fluids to replace what they lose through vomiting or diarrhea. Infants, young children, and persons who are unable to care for themselves, such as the disabled or elderly, are at risk for dehydration from loss of fluids. Immune compromised persons are at risk for dehydration because they may get a more serious illness, with greater vomiting or diarrhea. They may need to be hospitalized for treatment to correct or prevent dehydration.

Is the illness contagious? How are these viruses spread?

Yes, viral gastroenteritis is contagious. The viruses that cause gastroenteritis are spread through close contact with infected persons (for example, by sharing food, water, or eating utensils). Individuals may also become infected by eating or drinking contaminated foods or beverages.

How does food get contaminated by gastroenteritis viruses?

Food may be contaminated by food preparers or handlers who have viral gastroenteritis, especially if they do not wash their hands regularly after using the bathroom. Shellfish may be contaminated by sewage, and persons who eat raw or undercooked shellfish harvested from contaminated waters may get diarrhea. Drinking water can also be contaminated by sewage and be a source of spread of these viruses.

Where and when does viral gastroenteritis occur?

Viral gastroenteritis affects people in all parts of the world. Each virus has its own seasonal activity. For example, in the United States, rotavirus and astrovirus infections occur during the cooler months of the year (October to April), whereas adenovirus infections occur throughout the year. Norovirus outbreaks can occur in institutional settings, such as schools, child care facilities, and nursing homes, and can occur in other group settings, such as banquet halls, cruise ships, dormitories, and campgrounds.

Who gets viral gastroenteritis?

Anyone can get it. Viral gastroenteritis occurs in people of all ages and backgrounds. However, some viruses tend to cause diarrheal disease primarily among people in specific age groups. Rotavirus and norovirus infections are the most common cause of diarrhea in infants and young children under 5 years old. Adenoviruses and astroviruses cause diarrhea mostly in young children, but older children and adults can also be affected. Norwalk and Noroviruses are more likely to cause diarrhea in older children and adults.

How is viral gastroenteritis diagnosed?

Generally, viral gastroenteritis is diagnosed by a physician on the basis of the symptoms and medical examination of the patient. Rotavirus infection can be diagnosed by laboratory testing of a stool specimen. Tests to detect other viruses that cause gastroenteritis are not in routine use, but the viral gastroenteritis unit at CDC can assist with special analysis upon request.

How is viral gastroenteritis treated?

The most important of treating viral gastroenteritis in children and adults is to prevent severe loss of fluids (dehydration). This treatment should begin at home. Your physician may give you specific instructions about what kinds of fluid to give. CDC recommends that families with infants and young children keep a supply of oral rehydration solution (ORS) at home at all times and use the solution when diarrhea first occurs in the child. ORS is available at pharmacies without a prescription. Follow the written directions on the ORS package, and use clean or boiled water. Medications, including antibiotics (which have no effect on viruses) and other treatments, should be avoided unless specifically recommended by a physician.

Can viral gastroenteritis be prevented?

Persons can reduce their chance of getting infected by frequent handwashing, prompt disinfection of contaminated surfaces with household chlorine bleach-based cleaners, and prompt washing of soiled articles of clothing. If food or water is thought to be contaminated, it should be avoided.


Just in case this information wasn't known, I hope this helps clear up any confusion.  The bottom line is if you or your child is affected by this, it's best to isolate yourself for a little bit until you are completely recovered for *at least* a day, but still take precautions afterwards, since some of the viruses remain contagious for a long time afterwards.  Children pass this to each other so incredibly easy, it's almost impossible to prevent it when exposed.

One last note: having multiple young children affected with this simultaneously is more difficult than I could ever describe.  So far we are 3 out of 4.  It's been a very.long.night.  Needless to say, the trio is staying home from school today: their very first day absent from school.  Connor is the one yet to get sick, but my previous experience says it's just a matter of time so I'm not taking the chance...it will most likely hit him today.  Let's hope the end of the week is better than the beginning has been.

UPDATED AT 8:00 PM: Just as I thought, Connor got it about 7:30 this evening.  I guess tonight will be another long night, and another day absent from school tomorrow.  The biggest shame is this was so preventable.  Sigh.


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December 05, 2006

A Christmas Story

Ok, so the movie "A Christmas Story" is my all time favorite Christmas movie.  I can literally watch it over and over again and never tire of it.  However, my Christmas movie collection is officially off limits until December...then I launch a month long campaign of watching little else.  Luckily for me, the kids like it, but they are asking all sorts of questions.  They are a little too curious about the tongue-sticking-to-the-flagpole incident.  They want to know what was the bad word Ralphie says to get in trouble (because even they know it's not 'fudge').  They think the Santa is a bit scary, and I have to agree he is a bit freaky.  They love the Chinese restaurant scene and laugh every time.

True to my dorkish-ness, I still get teary eyed when the dad points out the hidden present behind the desk.  The look on the boys' faces when they see the presents is another biggie.  Looking out the window Christmas morning and seeing the beautiful landscape is magical.  I have always loved this movie, and I dreamt about having my own family and making such memories one day.  There was a time when such dreams hurt and brought tears to my eyes for different reasons.  I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am that I finally have the house full of kids that I pictured in my dreams.  Watching this movie with them is just...well...incredible.

This past weekend, we had our annual Santa brunch with my local triplet group.  It was amazing how many families were there.  I should really say, it was amazing how many children there were.  The kid-to-parent ratio is hilarious at such functions.  But everyone was so well behaved and it was great.  There was over 100 children under the age of 10, and it was no where near chaotic.  I posted some pictures on my web site if you are interested.  Here's a quick link to just that page.  Haley is really disliking Santa this year.  I hate to laugh at her, but it is actually quite funny.  Last year she was fine.  Did Santa stiff her last year, or what?

We also took our Christmas pictures this weekend.  I am so incredibly proud of the family picture.  We use it for our Christmas card, and we also get a 10x13 for the wall.  No sneak peeks at that one for now.  After the cards have been sent out, then I'll post it.  What was even cooler was the fact that the photographer was praising our kids, saying what a nice family we had with such well behaved kids.  Once someone finds out you have triplets, I guess they picture sheer chaos...and then good Lord, we have a 15 month old on top of it!  I have to admit, 99% of the time, our kids are very well behaved.  She should have seen us all at the Santa brunch!  Sometimes I wonder if the sheer fact that you are outnumbered by your offspring inspires you all the more to have things - and keep things - under control.

In any case, there are only 20 days left until Christmas.  I am going to try and savor all of those 20 days, and watch "A Christmas Story" at least 100 more times.  I hope you are also creating your own Christmas stories...I know mine is shaping up pretty darn nicely!

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December 01, 2006

Snow Day!

Today was our first snow day since being an official part of the school system.  It wasn't because it snowed so badly; no, we are used to such things (although it's been several years since a *real* snow has happened).  It was more the constant rat-a-tat-tat all night long on the windows.  Yes, sleet, alllll niiggghhhhtttt looooonnnnggg.  I love my house, really I do.  But darn, the windows in this place in such weather is relentless.  Regardless, it was sleeting up until about, um, 2 am (yes, I was awake all the while) and then it started to wet-snow.  Then it was lightning and thunder.  A thunder-snow, I guess it's called?  Like we are in a sci-fi show or something.  I never remember thunder-snows when I was growing up...did something change when I was changing a diaper, or what?

Anyway, after our 'thunder-snow-storm' or whatever we'll call it, the snow began to fall.  Perfect wet snow just waiting for a great snowball fight.  Or waiting for the poor individuals who must shovel it off the driveway.  School was canceled, which I agree as the roads were very slick, and people were trying to scurry off to work, making interesting patterns in our 'yet to be plowed-or salted-side street.'

The phone rang around noon.  It was a friend from Arizona, wanting to know how much I was enjoying the weather.  A side note here: the friend who called is the husband of one of my longest-known friends from my childhood.  We met here, and she unfortunately moved to warmer climates with her family after about 7 years (I lose track) or so of grade-to-high school friendship.  We remained great friends to the present day regardless of the distance after she moved.  We were in each others' weddings, despite living two time zones apart.  So we still keep in touch, and I have a rather unique friendship with her hubby.  Anyway, he doesn't like snow at all, and the rest of us know snow has its place in life.  ;-)

Without further chit-chat, here are some pictures from today that speak more than my words:

On my web site, there are a couple of pics of the kids getting ready to tackle the snow.

Aside from that, I don't have any 'cute kid playing in the snow' pictures...all I have is this little snow montage (however, bear with me, I'm trying to learn how to do pictures here vs my web site - learning curve warning) so they might not align right just yet.  Please email me your comments so I know how to fix it, ok?  Thanks!

The front of the house, from as far away as shoveling allowed (ha ha).

Front of house













Here are closeups of things you see in the picture...

Bushes with lights 





























Snowman Post 

















Ok, I'm a self-admitted dork, but the geese were going crazy today.  They weren't altogether nuts, as 48 hours ago, it was 62 degrees here!  However, in their frenzied honking, I think they were saying: "What the heck? What the heck? Fly AWAY! FLY AWWWWAAAAYYYYY !!!!!"



Geese...oh no...fly away!!!!! 











Ok, and finally, gotta give credit where credit is due.  I took all the daytime pictures, and didn't shovel.  Aaron agreed to take a nighttime snow picture for me, and it turned out great.  Truthfully, it wouldn't have looked as great if it weren't for him.  So here's the grand finale:

Lights at Night 













Don't mind all the footprints and all of that...of course there had to be some playing in the snow beforehand!!!

Happy December 1st!!!!!!!!!!1 1

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