February 04, 2010

The NEED to Write

I have had a very interesting week, and it got me thinking about writing.  I have talked to so many people and heard so many great stories, rah rah, go team.  And you know what?  I have a great story to tell, and I need to write more about it.  I've done so much writing in the past; it was so therapeutic and so very grounding when I needed to go back and know exactly how I felt.  Unfortunately, I am now in that group of "oh, that paper is long gone - didn't you have a backup?"

When I first starting writing on my web site and my blog, it was wonderful.  It was such a great outlet and a way to journal those thoughts.  There is so much history that I would love to share as well – not to mention more of the things that go on daily.  Now, it seems all I can keep up with are some texts and facebook statuses.  I don't want it to be just that, but right now, it's all I can do.  And I do not like that at all.

"What would YOU do if you were faced with that situation?"  I am just quoting a very great speech I heard recently (more on that another time because it has its own merits).  There are certain very difficult questions you can be faced with, that can never really be answered.  “Why me?” was another such great question.  Those are the situations that people live through, however they did, and want to share that experience with others.  Even affecting one person in a positive way is better than none at all.

Compared to the story I did hear, my stories aren't much, but I want to tell them.  Why?  Because I think in the end, they are encouraging.  When you are faced with real, serious situations, it will change you.  It will show you your true character.  And sometimes reading about those things before you are ever faced with them personally is a tool on your side.  Often hearing stories way beyond what you will ever endure gives you a new perspective on your own life.

I wish I had more time to write.  Before anyone asks me why I don't do it when I have downtime is because 1 - my downtime is pretty much non-existent; 2 - when I start to write, I don't want to stop.  I get in a groove and want to write without doing anything else and definitely without interruption...which pretty much eliminates that possibility for many more years.  Maybe I'll be inspired enough to start writing little chapters, even if just for myself, to make sure the brain cells that are dying off by the day don't forget too much more.  Finally 3 – I know these thoughts aren’t perfectly put together, but I’ve started to take a new approach…I’m going to write whatever is on my mind, even if sometimes (or most times), it comes out disjointed.  I am tired of only writing work emails so this is a fresh start for me.  By the end of the day, my brain is tired, give me a break. ;-)

If nothing else, I can only hope the 'non-writing' of my story is being reflected in my kids.  That they are influenced positively by the things we (my husband and I) do, and are getting the foundations for being strong people.  I suppose that is the ultimate goal in life, that your kids get the best parts of yourselves and none of the extra baggage.

I still want to write more.  I think I need it.

(and by the way, if I find that perfect formula for being parents, I'll be sure to share!)

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January 13, 2009

Happy New Year (albeit a little late)

Happy New Year.  I don't need to say that I sure didn't post many entries in 2008, do I?  Well, that's what working full time and raising four kids will do to you.  There have been things to write about for sure, but often I find myself depleted of any wit or energy to type, and just try to go to bed.  The end of 2008 brought a slew of challenges all one after the other, and I can't say it was a fun way to round out the year.  Some day I will write about them.  A few deserve to be told, others I'll try to forget.

I have also found the world of Facebook, and that has seen the little bit of time I do expend.  It's so easy and so many people I know are on it.  If you are but aren't currently one of my Facebook friends, let me know and we'll get connected.

I hope your 2009 has started off well.  I promise to write a bit more soon.

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October 29, 2008


Really, I do have so much more intellectually to offer, but....

- kids are loosing teeth,

- kids are asking 'tough' questions,

- kids are gettin' sick,

- kids are having fun,

- mom's industry is doing ok in this particular economy, but...

- mom is very busy,

- mom is choosing to spend her ONLY 'off' time not on the computer.

I'll find time to write better soon.  Really, I will...

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June 17, 2008

Random Grocery Shopping Thought

So I was making a list of things I need for the trio's birthday party, and the majority of things will be purchased from the store that gets the majority of my grocery budget anyway: Sam's.  As I looked at my list, I realized that I had automatically grouped the items I need in the order that I will encounter them along my route through the aisles.

Is it sad that I know the exact location of all the items by heart, and I don't even work there?

Or is it more sad that I wrote out my list in this order?


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June 10, 2008

Preparation for 2nd Grade

Today was the trio's last day of 1st grade.  I've already gotten the list of things to do over the summer in preparation for 2nd grade.  I will save my comments regarding this and my 1st grade experience for another blog entry.  For now, I will share something I found amusing (and if you aren't amused by this, then we just don't have the same sense of humor).  This is the list of words they are supposed to know to "start smart" according to the paper.  I would like to share this list, and I leave it in the EXACT order it is on this piece of paper.  At first glance, I thought maybe it was alphabetical, but no, that's not the case.  I think someone else had the same sense of humor and purposely put it in this order.  Otherwise...well, I just don't know, maybe I'm just nuts.  Ok, enough jabbering, here is the list:

been, before, better, call, cold, fall, kind, long, love, made, never, out, stop, show, today, warm, way, word, to

The more I read it, the funnier it gets.  Is it just me???  Tell me this isn't funny?  Or have I just lost it?  Has 1st grade really done this to me?  Never!  Out!  Stop!

Am I mature enough for 2nd grade?

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June 03, 2008

The Two Seasons

Around these parts, we like to say we have two seasons: winter, or construction.  This has never rang more true for me.  Currently my commute one way is 30 miles door to door (if I go straight to work - add in a few more if I have kids to drop off or pick up).  Those 30 miles include three tollways, as well as a zig-zag route just to get me on the first one.

28 of those miles are now under construction. 

This morning the newest portion of it was added, which was on a local road.  I can do those 30 miles in about 35 minutes when there is no traffic.  Unfortunately I do not work the graveyard shift, so my commute ONE WAY can be anywhere from 1 hour (on a very good day) to pushing the 2 hour mark.  With gas prices around $4.20 a gallon, I'm starting to feel the mental strain as well as the financial one.  So to try and see the humor of the situation, I've come up with this:

  • The term "rush hour" is such a gross misnomer, can't we come up with a more accurate term?  You wouldn't want to hear mine, as they couldn't be said without a bleep.
  • State Troopers have no business on the roads during peak commuting times.  All they do is cause yet another bottleneck or gaper's delay in the already annoying traffic taking place.  Write your tickets some other time, please.  Some of us are trying to get to work.
  • Speaking of gaper's delays, come on people.  Do you want people gawking at you?  Keep your eyes on the road and get your asses moving.  Those poor people in that accident do not want your stares or need your curiosity.  Show them some respect.
  • Traffic reports for my route are useless.  Every day they tell me that there are no delays, and everything is fine.  Or else they tell me the delay on my most problematic tollway begin 10 miles further than they actually do.  If they would just say the truth, "hey, if you have to go that way, it sucks!", I'd be less annoyed.  Quit giving me false hope!
  • Sign on a ramp from one highway to another, which is under construction: "Do Not Stop on Ramp."  I've had plenty of time to admire said sign.  I've thought about taking it off road so I do not violate that rule.  Hey, I'm a good citizen!
  • Another sign through a construction zone: "Avoid Unneccesary Lane Changes."  I suppose the thought process behind this one was to try and avoid those in a hurry from zig zagging through the stalled traffic, but you have to appreciate the humor.  Or maybe I think it's funny because I consider all of my lane changes to be necessary.
  • And my all time favorite: "Road Construction Ahead: Expect Delays."  Boy, thanks for the warning there, Sherlock.

To be fair, some of the construction is to widen these roads, so I'm hoping this is temporary pain and it will pay off.  However, I also didn't just fall off the truck yesterday so I'm just trying to be optimistic.  Other parts of the construction gotta love the justice in fix the pothole damage caused by the cold and snowy and LONG winter.

Yep, two seasons.

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April 21, 2008

The Beer is Fine

In case you have any trouble with dinner tonight, I share this:

Schlitz Ad

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April 18, 2008

The Earth Moved

Yeah, so kind of exciting, the earth moved...under our feet....we felt the...ok, enough.

So this blog is really still here.  Shame on me for not paying it - or you - enough attention.  My bad.  The good news is I've been so busy with work that you've just had to take a back seat right now.  Sorry.  I know, I caused a glitch in the matrix or something.  If I would just be a good, loyal blogger, the tectonic plates wouldn't have gone colliding and all that.

The good part is I'm really happy - and busy - with my job.  The technology we are developing and selling is really bad ass.  Cool any way you look at it...even at its worst, it's awesome...then check out the true HD - - WOW!  It works, and it works well.  It honestly saves time and resources, and is a great investment for so many industries and applications.  I'll just say it again: being laid off sucks horribly, however, since we didn't win the lottery and still needed my income, I found (thanks to my friend Jim) the perfect match.

So...I am sorry, my blog and my readers, I've just been a little more busy than usual.

Sometimes the earth has to move to make a difference.

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March 18, 2008

So A Minivan Enters the Garage...

Recently, we took the plunge for the second time down the minivan road.  We had a minivan for a matter of months when the trio was first born, but quickly came to find that hauling around three infants required more space than the minivans of that generation allotted.  Research done, Suburban purchased, bye-bye minivan.  I never really bonded with that minivan, but the Suburban had me at hello.  I was amazed at the ease of driving such a behemoth and empowered with its eight cylinders.  Sure, I went from a free spirited, still twenty-something to a mom of three babies overnight, but gosh darn it, I was still driving somewhat of a cool vehicle.  Seriously, the Suburbans have come a long way in looks, and complimented in stylish Cubs blue complete with Cubs license plates, I felt as bad-ass as I could.

Fast forward to now; six years of driving the Suburban.  Trio much older, another kidlet added to the mix, and now I must spend more time in the vehicle with a longer commute.  Is the Suburban still the practical choice?  The 2008 models of the Grand Caravan were impressive on paper and worth a look.  Tons of cargo space, kid features and convenience features, let alone better gas mileage.  But could I become a minivan driver?  Could I trade in the last remnants of my self-perceived coolness and become just like the others out there?

Well, there is an obvious reason why minivans are so popular.  They are the best choice for many situations.  The minivans of today are waaaaay sweeter than they were six years ago.  Enamored by the list of features it boasted, once I drove it, I knew I was ready.  It's been just over one month, and there are no regrets.  After years of winters touching salt covered doors, I enjoy the ease of pushing a remote to open doors and the rear hatch.  After miles of driving with a portable DVD player velcroed to the back of my head rest blasting kids' movies, I savor the silence of children watching one - or possibly two - different movies with their wireless headphones.  After hearing the same commercial 10,000 times in an hour, I relish pushing the Satellite button and choosing from almost 200 channels of advertisement-free bliss.  Going somewhere new?  No more will Mapquest get me lost: I have built in GPS, baby!  A little chilly outside?  The heated leather seats and remote start are just what I need.  Then there are the little things as well: the fact that the rear wiper blade control is now logically placed next to those of the front wipers; the interior lights are softer LED and have some blue 'limo light' effects to the back; the front defroster has its own control so you can run that as well as your normal heat; the second row windows actually go down (never could figure out that restriction); we can swivel the seats and add in a table for an impromptu game of quarters Candy Land.  I'm sure I could think of more, but this gives you a flavor.  There were none in stock in my color of choice, so I had to go with red - but if you refer to it as Cardinal red, I will poke you in the eye.  ;-)

I still have pangs of sadness when I look at my poor, dejected Suburban no longer in the warmth of the garage, but outside on the driveway.  I am sad simply because that Suburban has been the single greatest vehicle ever.  It has carted all five - and eventually six - of us around safely and dependably.  Never a problem and never a worry.  It's been a workhorse, and for that, I respect it.  Not everyone can say that about a vehicle.  I wasn't ready to part with it initially because of these reasons.  I still get sad when I think of actually saying goodbye to it.  I would rather hold on to it, but I know that would just be silly.  Would there ever be a time when we would need it over the minivan at this point?  Why should I let such a wonderful vehicle just sit unused in our driveway?  I need to prepare myself to say goodbye and look into finding it a new family.

So who reading this is thinking, "man, she is such a dork spending an entire blog entry talking about a Suburban and a minivan!"?  The same dork who literally cried when she had to sell her first car, GiGi, the 1977 Chrysler Cordoba (the name came from GG = Gas Guzzler).  Apparently I tend to develop a bit of a bond with my vehicles.  But you know what?  I haven't lost my self-perceived coolness at all!

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March 13, 2008

Spring Fever

This winter has been long.  It's been the snowiest winter in 52 years, meaning it's been the snowiest winter of my existence.  I am not feeling as much spring fever as I normally would at this point, but that is because I spent a pretty sizable part of it in warmer climates.  However, like everyone else, I am ready for spring.  Not ready for the severe storms and tornado threats, but ready for that fresh air.  Ready to watch life renew plants, flowers, baby animals. 

Those who live in warmer climates year round cannot begin to understand the amazing transformation that arrives along with spring.  Unless you live through the cold and snowy time, you do not have the same excitement and appreciation for those first glorious warm days.  Unless you have to add 15 minutes onto your kids' morning routine to get them sufficiently bundled up (and to find the damn gloves that always seem to get lost), you cannot appreciate how easy it is to leave with just a light jacket.  Unless you have been immersed in the peaceful silence of a snow covered world, you wouldn't take notice of the birds singing or the crickets chirping.  Until you've gotten used to guarding yourself from the bitter sting of the wind, you cannot taste the miracle of the welcoming spring breeze.  Until your house has been filled with recycled heated air, you cannot imagine the simple joy of open windows.

We are right there.  The temperatures are slowly creeping up.  The days are longer and more sunny.  The anticipation is building.  Winter cannot last forever, and spring will indeed arrive.  Everyone's moods will magically brighten, and laughter will come so much easier.  Bikes will be cleaned and aired up.  Baseballs and mitts will make their debut from bottoms of closets.  Swings will soar through the air once more.  Hot chocolate will be replaced by lemonade.  Wrigley Field will open its doors.

It's always worth the wait.  And this year, it will be extra fabulous...we truly earned it!

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February 19, 2008

Another Public Service Announcement

Warning: spending an abundance of time in warm climates away from home during a very cold and snowy winter will be hazardous to your internal thermostat.

Last Sunday I left again for California for another week of training.  This time my flight gained me a whopping 56 degrees.  It was -1 when I left.  Yes, that's air temperature.  I landed at almost 11 pm and still gained 56 degrees.  All week it was short sleeves and no coat.  Upon arriving back home, I lost upwards of 60 degrees again.  When I exited the tram station at the parking lot, the gust of icy wind took my breath.  And now I am still colder than I usually am - me - the perpertually warm one.  Remind me to stay put in the climate I reside until winter is over, ok?  Because I'm starting to see the allure of living in the warmer areas.  Come summer when feels like 250 degrees elsewhere, then I'll visit to appreciate my own coordinates once more.

And while we are on the topic of cold, maybe someone could explain why with all of our advanced technology, we cannot consistently make vehicles where the windshield fluid squirter (that's the technical term) doesn't freeze?  Usually it's during the cold times that the salt residue is prohibiting vision out of the windshield.  A bit difficult to drive when you cannot see.  Try rolling down the window to throw some water on it?  Uh-uh.  Window is frozen shut, too.  Fabulous.

Ok, enough griping.  It's winter.  Deal with it.

To try and stimulate your mind in a better way, try this.  It's pretty neat.  However, since I am a dork by nature, my goal was to figure out how it works.  It didn't take very long.  See if you can figure it out.  Unless you are in a warm that case, just go outside and stop sitting in front of the darn computer for pete's sakes!

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January 22, 2008


Will the owner of this blog puh-leaze post a new entry?  Anyone?  Anyone?

Ok, I know I am not that important and you probably didn't miss me all that much, but I like reading blogs myself and when people have extended absences, you start to wonder.

I have been so incredibly busy this month, I have barely slept.  To put it to numbers, as of today, I have slept in my own house exactly 6 nights, plus 2 that are questionable.  By that I mean I have gotten home unnaturally late after long and delayed flights, so even combined, they maybe add 1/4 of a night.  It's the 22nd of the month.  That's a lot of time gone.

What have I been doing?  The worldwind tour of training after training after training, and then an annual sales kickoff meeting.  Truth be told, I should be with the rest of my 'new hire cohort' in Denver right now, but Aaron had to travel for work.  I thought 8 nights straight was tough (with less than 48 hours in between the prior week's stretch), and they have to do 12.  Last night I went to bed just after 2 am (thank you snowy winters), and Aaron woke up just after 4 am for his trip.  There is some tag team parenting for you.

It's been hard to be away from my family for this long, but I am happy to say that it's at least been time very well spent.  I have learned a ton, and equally as important, have met A LOT of people.  It has reinforced that this was a good move for me to make.  This was the right time to join this company and there are a lot of exciting things happening.  Additionally, I was able to help pull together a presentation to our very own CEO...and we rocked!  That's a pretty awesome feeling.  I am impressed with my new coworkers and really psyched about this next phase in my professional career.  At least this intense travel is temporary, and has been worth it.

Severe asthma attack in San Diego aside, it all went well (and Randy, I cannot say it enough: THANK YOU!)  Not only work and learning, but fun to boot.  Oh, not to mention being in a climate that was conducive to eating lunch OUTSIDE every day.  IT IS JANUARY, PEOPLE!  And since I haven't been home much this month, I will take no more additional time for now, but leave you with a picture instead:


Um, yeah.  What do you think I've been doing in my free time?

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December 26, 2007

Happy Holidays!

I am not only late getting my blog entry up, but also my Christmas cards.  It's funny how being unemployed affected me so; normally I am uber-organized and efficient.  During the days of unemployment, job hunting was just about all I could manage.  Now I'm just trying to enjoy the final days of 2007 while our 2008 is looking mighty bright!

So, after that introduction, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!  Whatever it is you celebrate, I hope you are enjoying yourselves with your family and friends.  For me, it's Merry Christmas!!!

I have had a wonderful December so far.  I started my new job (ahem, my new CAREER) and I am really excited about it.  It seems like it will be all of the things I loved about the last one, with none of the negatives.  I am really feeling optimistic about this career move and excited to get rolling!  I also got to celebrate Christmas with my mom and ALL of my siblings.  This was very special for me.  I definitely do not get to see my family as much as I would like, and it was especially great to have everyone in our house.  I got to cook for them and we went visiting our old neighborhood(s) and other memorable locales.  Sometimes there is nothing that can make you appreciate your current life more than visiting where you started.  Best of all, my mom got to visit with two of her best friends, and that was really great for everyone.  My brother's girlfriend came along, and she had never been to our wonderful city, so it was fun to show off all the landmarks.  I am always more than proud to show off the city!  It was sad to see them go, but at least we had a fantastic time, and they got back home safely.

The kids have been having fun, too.  They have enjoyed gift giving and opening, and it's always fun to watch.  We still have some friends and family to get together with before all is said and done, and it's always great to spend time with our loved ones. 

I also enjoyed my annual baking expedition, and was more than excited to share it with neighbors and friends.  I'm telling you, if there is one thing I love to do, it's cook!  Be it normal food or baked goods, I get so much joy out of cooking for people.  I went through 4 pounds of butter, 2 dozen eggs, 6 pounds of apples, 2 pounds of pecans, and lost count how much flour, sugar (granulated, powdered, brown) and chocolate chips.  Everything from scratch over here.  If I'm going to cook, I am going to do it right!  ;-)

So again, I hope you are enjoying the last of 2007 and all is well in your world.  May your 2008 start off right!

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December 10, 2007

The Christmas Spirit

We had a fabulous weekend.  We went to visit my in laws and celebrate my niece's 3rd birthday as well as Christmas, since we will not be able to make it back down this month.  It was really a great time.  My sister in law is expecting her second, and a cousin is pregnant with twin boys (their 3rd and 4th), so next year at this time, there will be plenty of new babies for me to snuggle.  We also went to a kids' Christmas party on Sunday, which was a lot of fun, too.  The kids got to see Santa and get a present, so they thought that was pretty awesome.  For the first time, my niece sat on Santa's lap without being afraid, and promptly asked him "where are your reindeer?" which was pretty cute.  It was nice to visit with everyone, even if you wish there was an extra day in there.  We had a great trip, and despite the ickky weather, made it there and back safely.

Celebrating Christmas got me even more in the holiday spirit.  It really is so much fun watching the kids open up their presents.  One funny I want to share: Aaron opened up a can of nuts.  Connor saw this, did an evil laugh and said: "Ha ha!  You got mac and cheese for Christmas!"  It was hysterical.  Apparently the picture on the outside of the can looked like mac and cheese, and he thought it was an awful silly thing to get for a present.  And just the way he said it was great.

The only real bummer right now is that our outdoor decorations have not gotten up, and with this crazy ice and snow, I'm not feeling really confident in any great conditions to do so.  But now that I have one round of shopping/wrapping/packing over with, I can finish up the indoor decorating which has also not been completed.

To complete the holiday spirit, I made the kids into dancing elves.  You can view it here.

Hope your December is going well thus far.  Only 15 days until Christmas!

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December 05, 2007

The First Measurable Snow

It's snowing outside. 

And it's beautiful.* 

Yes, I love snow.  Better still, I love hearing my kids squeal with excitement when they look out the window at the world transformed by a blanket of white.  Haley has proclaimed that it's "Christmas outside!" and is just giddy.  Right now, it's still fresh and white, and looking out my windows, it definitely feels Christmasey.  Big ornamental flakes are still falling and I just don't see how anyone could not be in awe at how pretty it is.  Mother Nature is pretty darn amazing, if you ask me.  Sure, when cold weather goes on and on it does get old, but I will take my four seasons any old day.

I would feel out of place celebrating the most important holiday season in shorts.  I don't mind being all bundled up and hearing the crunch of snow under my feet.  I like making up a snowball and tossing it at someone.  I love checking out all of the fantastic designs the snowflakes take on.  I admire how beautiful all the trees look with their coat of white.  To look out the window and watch the snow falling is something I could do for hours.  I say, BRING IT ON!

* Yes, my dear friend RYAN B., it is beautiful and you are missing out!  ;-)

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November 28, 2007

If the Shoe Fits

It's no secret that women love shoes.  Even my girls have loved them from a very young age, so I tend to believe that there is something genetic about it.  I can always browse for shoes even when I don't necessarily 'need' a new pair.  I used to like having a variety of shoes and being on a limited budget, usually opted for Payless to get more bang for my buck.  Since getting a little older and the bod is a bit more worn and haggard than it used to be, I am finding that shoes (along with vehicles) now serve the one purpose: functionality. 

No longer can I be bothered wearing shoes that hurt my feet just because they are cute.  With that, however, comes a larger price tag.  The shoes that are best for your feet (your back, your knees, your posture, the list goes on) aren't the cheapest.  Good reason for it, I suppose.  Therein lies a quandry: less money to spend on myself these days, but certain things are really necessities more than anything.  If I am limping around in pain, NOBODY in my family is going to like it, trust me. 

Over the summer, I invested in several pairs of Crocs (flip flop variety included).  I was not disappointed.  I was comfortable and as a side benefit, I had no smelly sandals with which to contend.  My Crocs will therefore survive more than one season, a feat (chuckle) in itself.  However, now it's getting chilly, and my ventilated shoes of choice aren't going to suit me for outdoors.  So I did my research, and decided to splurge (for the sake of my family, of course).

This, my friends, is my new favorite shoe of all time.

Dansko Shoes

They are a bit pricey, and in fact they are honestly the most I have ever spent on a pair of foot coverings, but they are worth every single penny (if you feel the need, I did include a link to them on - just click on the picture).   Wow.  Just like the feeling I had when I was able to sample an extremely expensive bottle of wine...sometimes things are priced more for a reason.  It's amazing how good a person can feel when they have a really good pair of shoes on their feet.  And the added bonus to these?  They actually look great, too!

Now I know I definitely need a job so I can support my shoe habit.  Once I can financially justify it, these puppies are mine in black!

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November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you are anything like me, you are in full holiday preparation mode, complete with doing as much food prep ahead of time as you can.  Speaking of which, let me go off on a tangent.  If you like to cook even a fraction as much as I do, please do me one favor?  If you bake any pies, please make your own pie crust from scratch?  It's really so easy and SO SO SO worth it.  Why bother making all of the inside so yummy if you don't take extra care of the outside?  If you need it, here is the recipe I started with:

If you know me well enough, you will know that recipes are just guidelines for me.  I always change stuff, and I can't really tell you what I change, because often it's different each time.  In any case, this is the 'base' and you can read the Allrecipes comments to get suggestions on things to alter.  But I will tell you with confidence: it's hard to screw it up.  Follow the recipe to the letter, and it will still be fine (but DO chill everything before starting, and that's only listed in a comment).  Believe it or not, it is noticeably different than a store bought version.  Homemade always tastes better and even if you think you can't make it from scratch, oftentimes you will surprise yourself.  It's less risky to try it than to continue to eat the countless chemicals and other crap that is in all the convenience foods.

I digress.

Although I guess not completely.  After all, this is a Happy Thanksgiving post, and usually people associate Thanksgiving with having a big feast, so when a better time to speak about food?  I am really hoping I can continue to cook nutritious and healthy foods for my family when I return to work full time.  No, this isn't an announcement about anything like that, but I know it will happen (part of me will add 'unfortunately' to the end of that sentence).  I just have the fear that I will have less time to cook, but I also know I'm resourceful enough to find a way.  My feelings about food have changed considerably, and I don't see how they could relapse.

Did I go on a tangent again?

Ok, in any case, I hope you and yours have a very happy Thanksgiving.  For the fellow Black Friday crazies, I hope you have a fun day Friday and land all the deals that justify leaving the house before dawn.  Long before the rooster had any inkling to crow (because, you know, that's how WE wake up every day around here, don't you?).  And long before the turkey has even fully digested.

!!!!!!!IT'S HOLIDAY TIME!!!!!!!

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November 15, 2007


Well, my blog has officially celebrated its 1 year anniversary.  I know lately I haven't been updating it as regularly as I would like, but hopefully that will change soon.  I have been alternating between trying to find a new job, to feeling overwhelmed by the situation.  I try to appreciate the fact that I have extra time that I should be using to do some stuff around the house...and then other times, I feel like curling up into a ball.  It's really a very confusing roller coaster to be on.  In any case, happy 1 year anniversary.

On a different note, I can't believe it's only one week until Thanksgiving.  This time of year is my favorite.  I love Thanksgiving, especially when I have company coming.  Cooking for a large crowd is one of my favorite things.  And then of course comes Black Friday.  I am thinking that ranks right up there amongst my most favorite days of the year.  Ideally, I'm hitting the first store prompty at 5 am when they open, and continue on from there.  I have a list already, so I know most of what I'm getting before I get there.  Then somewhere early afternoon, shopping is wrapped up and it's time for lunch.  After getting back home, it's time to start decorating for Christmas.  Tell me, how much better could a day be???

I hope your holiday preparations are underway, and the holidays are not a huge stressor for you.  I refuse to let holidays stress me out, even this year when I have less income available than ever.  I know I will still have fun doing what I can.  For me, it's about spending time with loved ones and enjoying holiday traditions more than the number of gifts, anyway.

Enjoy the start of this holiday season!!!

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November 02, 2007

Lessons from Solitaire

Since I've been laid off, it's hard to distance myself from my home office: my computer sitting in the center of the house.  These days my time spent on said computer usually revolves around job hunting, other research, reading blogs, typing some emails, and every now and then, I just need to do something else.  So I've been playing Solitaire.

Yeah.  A silly card game on the computer.  The one most widely known and the one you could spot on anyone's glasses when you walked up to them in the office and they were 'busy.'  I play it now just so I can do something that required some use of my brain that wasn't job-centric.  And something that would keep my brain cells firing when at times, they felt like they just wanted to shut down.

The new version that comes with Vista allows you to replay a lost game.  At first I found this quite silly.  I already lost, why would I want to play it again?  Am I a glutton for punishment?  Are you trying to rub failure in my face?

Then I thought about it, no doubt as a result of using my brain cells for something somewhat logical in nature.  What if I could replay the exact same cards differently?  What if the sequence of events led to a completely different outcome?  What if that one time, I turned over a different card when I had two choices: would it really change the overall result?

I consider myself a pretty good card player.  But could I purposefully miss some moves I knew existed to see if it changed my outcome?  I know there are moves that I miss (because I am not perfect), so will it all even out in the end?  The moment the cards are dealt; is that when the ultimate end is decided, or are there choices along the way that change it?

I decided to try it.  My completely scientific results were this:

  • Sometimes, no matter how many times you deal or re-deal the cards, there is no way to change the losing result.
  • However, more often than I expected, you could lose one time, but win the next.  This usually happened with more than one attempt at the same deck, but the point remains the same: if you try something new, you do have a different outcome.
  • And I can only logically conclude that all of the games I did win the first time, I could have just as easily lost as well.

How many cliches have we all heard involving life and a deck of cards?  It's a fabulous metaphor to be sure, but I've never really paid much attention to it before I had the chance to see it in this context, in this phase of my life.

I'm going to be a good card player and believe my next play will be getting me to the win.  After all, it's not like I can re-deal my own deck until I get there.  Or can I?

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October 08, 2007

On the Positive Side

Last weekend, we had company in from Tennessee.  My uncle and his family came to visit us.  We had a great time showing them around, and it was like taking a vacation without needing to travel.  We went shopping at our new local mall, bowling, watched the kids' soccer game, went downtown, took a boat ride down Lake Michigan and then enjoyed a day at Six Flags.  It was great fun!  I have to say that when it comes to Six Flags, I am still a kid at heart.  That place just brings back so many happy memories for me, and when it comes to roller coasters, I am young again.  We tried to hit all of the major coasters but unfortunately ran out of time (it was quite crowded, given we had record breaking warmth for this time of year), and missed Superman.  Aside from that however, I have to say that Deja Vu has to be the most intense roller coaster experience I have ever had.  Wow.  I wish I could have ridden it again!!!  ;-)

It was also a lot of fun to be able to go there with my children.  Riding the same rides I have ridden throughout my childhood with them was pretty darn cool.  Watching their excitement and happiness was enough to make my heart burst.  It was one of those times I remembered the pain of infertility.  When we were trying to have a baby, my mind would torture me by thinking of all the fun things I wanted to do as a family.  It's nice to know that my dreams were right on; such things are as wonderful as I'd imagined they'd be.  Even nicer that it's now my reality, and no longer just a dream.

I have also taken a step to hopefully allow me some relief from the Endometriosis.  I had a Mirena IUD inserted last Thursday.  It releases progesterone, which they are finding provides relief in some endo patients.  During pregnancy, you do not have endo pain.  They are trying to figure out exactly why, and one theory is because your progesterone levels are so high.  Remember, endo pain is not just associated with menstruation - that would be an easy fix.  They think that progesterone helps render the endo lesions inactive, thus absolving you of the associated pain.  Additionally, the IUD keeps your uterine lining on the thinner side, also helping with overly heavy flows.  For my situation, Mirena was a good option to try.  I'm told to give it at least 3-6 months to fully appreciate its effectiveness.  IUDs are funny things; you are sticking a foreign object into your body.  It's a fairly new concept to use this to help with endo, but for some, it's helping.  I hope I am one of the lucky ones.  So far I can't complain.  It was easier to put in than I expected, and after the first few days of cramping (sometimes a little much), things seem to be calming down.  Fingers crossed.

So after a fun filled family weekend and an encouraging step to lessening the continual pain in my life, I feel rejuvenated.  I feel positive (even though my Cubbies blew the playoffs).  I feel ready for something new.  I started a real job search.  I am no longer paralyzed by the thought of going back to a full time position.  After looking at the jobs on the market, I feel ready for a promotion.  I have skills and I have the potential to find a higher position than I was in.  I also have the potential to bring in a much higher salary than I had with my previous employer.  Since we've been slipping backwards financially, I think it's time to play catch-up for a while.  I was blessed with over two years of being home with my little one.  I don't think it would be the end of the world if she had to go somewhere at this point.  Of course I would much rather remain at home with her, but I just don't think that is going to work out so it's time to consider other possibilities.  Maybe if we got a bit caught up financially, down the road I could go back to the teaching part time scenario.  Right now, that just isn't going to pay enough and the child care situation it creates is very difficult.

I have applied to several positions which sound appealing.  We'll see if any pan out.  For now, I will limit my search to those that interest me.  If none work, at that point I will change my search to the plain ole 'network engineer' role that I left.  Right now, I feel I have more to offer than just that, and I feel no pressure to quickly settle for something that I don't really want to do.  I don't want simply a lateral move.  I want a move up.  I feel ready for it, and confident too.  Dare I say maybe even a little excited.

So I do feel optimistic about the future.  I'll say it again: I am confident that this will lead to bigger and better things, and I really hope before long, I'll be thanking previous employer for giving me the boot.

Things are looking up!

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September 27, 2007

Fingers Crossed!

Hopefully I will have a better update later, but if I can get any more positive energy directed my way by posting this, it will be worth it.


This is the official name for the teaching I am qualified to do.  I have absolutely no idea what it pays, although I know it's much less than teaching as a full time professor, but hopefully it will be enough.  Please let it be enough!  This is really something I could get excited about and enjoy doing.  And something that should fit in perfectly with my family's long as I get paid! 

I turned in my equipment to my former employer and mailed off my "Separation Agreement" paperwork yesterday.  The final ties were cut.  The same day, I get called for an interview for what I want to do.  Let it be a sign.  Please let it be a sign.

Fingers crossed.  Toes crossed.  Hopefully a better update later.

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September 25, 2007

How To Get Started?

So one thing that has been exciting me is a possible career change into the world of teaching.  It's always been an interest of mine.  Even back in undergraduate years, I tried to transfer over but I would have added some time to my collegiate years, and thought I couldn't afford to do so.   It was a legitimate concern since my costs were being covered 100% by student loans and income from all of my jobs.  Now looking back, I realize I should have just done it when it was 'easy' to do so.  But that's ok.  I knew I needed to make some money to pay off said loans, so that was my motivation - get a degree and get out in the working world.  And really, how is a 20 year old supposed to be sure that their career path is the one they will be happy with the rest of their life?

Long story short, I ended up with a generic degree from my undergrad years, then got interested in IT.  Back in the 90s, it was the place to be.  I liked the continually changing atmosphere and the constant need to learn new technologies.  I decided to go back to school to fill in some of the gaps.  This went well, and I had arrived at a solid career and a great job.

We all know how that changes, don't we?

IT has changed in and of itself.  Nowadays, the economy is different, and cutbacks seem to hit IT pretty hard.  I still like the industry, but now I'm a mom with four young kids being forced to make a decision about my life.  Do I pursue the same thing from which I was just laid off, or do I try something different?  Maybe it is time for a change.  Restless spirit, I can be...always looking for that next great thing.  Perhaps now is the time to pursue the teaching interest.

In my current situation, going back to school to pursue a job teaching elementary or high school isn't going to work.  After all, I'm still paying off my student loans and don't feel inclined to suffer a ton more debt right now.  But college that an option?  Is teaching at a junior or a full time college something I am qualified to do?  I think it should be.  I have plenty of experience training, experience in the industry and I have my Master's degree.  I hope it's enough.  The problem is I am not coming up with a whole lot of information on how to apply for such a position.

So anyone reading...does anyone know how to get my foot in the door?

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August 02, 2007

Eeeby Jeebies

Exacly how would one spell "eeby jeebies?"  I figured this would be the right spelling, given the plural and all.  I often invent my own words, and call that language "Angelaspeak."  Sorry, not the point in this entry.  This gross, eeby jeeby picture is:


So I guess August arrived in a buzz.  As in literally, buzz buzz buzz.  Wish I meant a nice alcohol induced one and was telling you of some fab party I attended, but no.  I mean these awful looking, scary insects.

Paper wasps are a common thing up here in Northern Illinois.  During the later summer/early fall days, we have to frequently rid ourselves of these wasps and their nests.  It is really my least favorite part of living in this area.  I'd take snow over these any old day.  I despise anything that can sting, extra hatred for that which can sting repeatedly.  In fact, I can barely stand to look at that picture, so good thing I can adjust my screen size to avoid it altogether.  I probably should have caught a video of it, so you could see just how many of them actually live there, slithering in and out.  There are WAY more than the 7 that show up on the picture.  Ewwwww. 

The biggest problem has been their presence in our yard and on our wooden swingset.  Luckily, they are not aggressive unless you mess with their nest.  They eat up wood, mix it with their evil saliva and then make their unique nests.  Even though that process might sound pretty cool, I have a hard time finding anything good to say about them, even though I know everything on our planet has some sort of purpose.  Sorry, Mother Nature, but consider this an obituary for all those awful things in the above picture.  Had to get rid of them myself, rather than let nature take its course.

To pay the price for ridding them of my fence, I'll feel all buggy and have the eeby jeebies for the next week at least.  Yuck.

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August 01, 2007

Um, Has Anyone Seen July?

I am a bit confused.  I mean, just yesterday it was July.  How in the heck did it get to be August already, for crying out loud.  Seriously, what happened to July?  I swear it was just the 4th of July last week.

I guess part of it must be the constant state of "busy."  I am watching my neighbor's two children for the summer.  The daughter is 9 (almost 10) and the son is 5.  That makes, count them, SIX children here with me during the days.  And believe it or not, we even do things.  Like out in public.  With SIX young kids.  It's going ok too, it's just really busy.  Forgive me environment, but I have been using paper plates a lot more often.  I was running out of dishes.

However, 4 weeks from today, it will all change.  The kids start school.  A full day of school for my kids, instead of the half day kindergarten.  That means I will not be having lunch with them everyday.  That tugs a little bit at my heart.  While lunchtime with 6 kids might be a bit lot of work, it's sad to think I will miss out on that part of their day.  The 5 year old will start kindergarten, so I will still watch him during the mornings, and then he'll go off to afternoon school.  Hmm, it sure will be a different week with only a napping Haley in the house!

It's funny sometimes to think of the series of events that come together to form your life.  6 years ago when I was tending to my three little babies trying to mentally prepare myself for returning to work, I never would have guessed that this would be me 6 years later.  It ripped out my heart (with a few extra stomps here and there) to leave my kids for so many hours of the week.  Now here I am with the ideal part time, work from home arrangement (yes, same company) and helping out a fellow dual-parent working family.  I feel so incredibly lucky.  A little tired, but fortunate nonetheless.

Wonder if August will fly by as quickly as July did?  Ah, who am I kidding.  Tomorrow will be Christmas!!!

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July 25, 2007

Viva Las Vegas!

So we just got back from a long weekend in Las Vegas.  Aaron had to go there for work, and I tagged along for the ride.  We were supposed to make our annual trek to the Jimmy Buffett concert that Saturday, so since he was making me miss it, I thought I'd feel better about the situation if I went along to Vegas rather than staying home alone, sulking.  Additionally, when else would I be able to stay at the Paris hotel?

In order to make this work, we had to drive to Aaron's parents' house 4 1/2 hours away, and then fly in and out of St. Louis, an additional 1 1/2 hour drive...three nights in Las Vegas, then turn around and repeat the trip back home.  That's a lot of traveling!  Aaron had to work almost the entire time, but I had better plans - one of my greatest friends and her husband who are currently in Tucson, AZ, decided that they could make a weekend trip to Vegas, too.  They just had their 10 year wedding anniversary and figured this was a great way to celebrate.  Her parents had agreed to watch their kids and all the plans fell perfectly in place.  So off we went.

The driving down part?  We're fairly seasoned at this particular leg of the journey so it was nothing unusual.  We continued on to St. Louis that evening and stayed at a hotel, because trying to get to the airport during morning rush hour would have NOT been fun.  The flight?  Oh, I am so not a good passenger on an airplane.  I have been on numerous really rough flights, even dropped suddenly, so I'm always afraid of crashing.  Now since 2001, I am even more afraid of it for other obvious reasons.

However, I must stop and comment on something here.  Airplanes are all uncomfortable in my opinion.  I am always claustrophobic, and you end up with your knees in the back of the seat in front of you.  As much as I would like to, I never recline my seat, because I realize that hey, we are all cramped, and that doesn't help anything.  Both flights we were in the same seats, the row behind the exit rows.  The exit rows have much more room, understandibly so in case there was an emergency evacuation necessary.  Both flights, the people in the rows in front of me reclined their seats.  Not only do they already have more room than us, but they go and recline on top of it.  Very nice.  I appreciate it, those of you in row 21 on those two flights!!!

Anyway, arriving in Vegas, I had the anticipation of getting together with my friends and a weekend of fun, including two shows.  I was looking forward to eating well, drinking plenty and having a great time.  I wasn't disappointed in those respects.  It was so awesome to get together with my friends, and her hubby did very well on the Blackjack tables.  They also won tickets to a show on Friday evening, so they had some nice time together without me tagging along.  The three of us went to The Price is Right show, and that was hysterical.  Just like the real show, prizes and all.  It was great fun.  We wandered around elsewhere, taking in all the sites especially my personal favorite, the fountains at Bellagio.  No way to put that into words; you have to see it in person.  We spent most of our time 'resting' at Margaritaville drinking water, um margaritas, what else, silly?  Truthfully with the price of drinks everywhere else, they were the most reasonable and WORTH IT.  No sweet, pre-mixed yuckky stuff.  Yes, Jimmy is a good man, taking care of his fans even in Vegas.  Sorry I missed you this year, Jimmy, but I was there in spirit!

Speaking of spirits, here's a sign of true friendship: my friend and I can go years without getting together in person, but when we do, we just pick right back up where we left off.  There's no time of awkward, 'gee it's been a long time' stuff going on.  No, it's hugs, tears, and let's get going!  I get along so well with her husband, too, so the three of us had a great time together.  Sometimes when I call my friend, I end up first chatting with her hubby so it's great to get the vibes going in person for a change.  Most of all, it was so much fun to just hang out and laugh so much!

After my friends left (sniff, sniff), Aaron was almost done with work, and we had a dinner and a show that evening.  We saw a Cirque de Soleil show, specifically "O", and oh my goodness it was awesome!!!  I mean seriously, it was breathtaking.  I love me a good show, and I was certainly not disappointed in this one!  Incredible!

Monday it was off to the day of travel.  Airport, waiting, a three-hour-flight-that-felt-like-nine, airplane anxiety attack, waiting more for luggage, waiting to get to the vehicle, driving back to Aaron's parents' house.  What a waste of a day!  Getting back to my children was the absolute highlight, and was so good to see them.  I had a great trip and am completely glad I went, but I get some serious separation anxiety being far from my kids.  I will interpret that as a good thing, and leave it at that.  I already feel bad for them when they leave me to live their own lives.  ;-)

Another thing to note about this trip; Vegas got EXPENSIVE.  Wow.  Granted, it's been almost 8 years since I've been there, but it used to be a place where you could eat and drink pretty reasonably, since they want your money in gambling.  Not anymore.  There are so many new casinos going up, it's amazing.  The economy is hurting?  You wouldn't think so going there.  I gambled exactly this much: $0.  I was too afraid of losing money.  How would I be able to eat or drink?  I had more fun just people watching, enjoying the company of my friends and my husband (when I could), and walking around.  I was thankful that we only had one night of the hotel, or else we never could have afforded staying at Paris - which by the way, is incredibly nice and in a great location.  I left a ton of money behind, but none lost to gambling.  See, you CAN go to Vegas and not gamble!

Although I should have bet on the Cubs winning the World Series!

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July 15, 2007

Could laundry be any MORE fun?

With a large family, it's an obviously fact that I do a TON of laundry each week.  When we moved in to our new house, we decided to go with a high capacity, water efficient, front loading washer.  There are many pluses to the front loaders, along with a few known drawbacks, since I did my research ahead of time.  The biggest drawback is becoming a real problem for me now that my washer is almost 3 years old.  These days, when I do the laundry, I have a terrible allergy attack. 


Because of the way these things are designed, they are prone to mildew if they are not thoroughly cleaned and dried out all the time.  Yeah, I totally have time for that in addition to doing all that laundry, folding it and putting it away.  Gah.  It might sound easier to clean them than it is in reality.  My laundry room is a very small room, along with being the entrance from the garage.  If I left those doors open to 'air out,' there is no doubt there would be a couple of injuries that I'd be writing about instead.

But really, what's more fun than doing tons of laundry, than having an awful sneezing and slight asthma attack to top it off?  My allergies are frustrating the heck out of me.  Yes, I know the dang washer needs to be rid of the crud currently plaguing it, but gosh, why does it have to attack me so violently?  Do I not spend hours each week in its company?  I am not the enemy here!

The only promising thing is there is an upcoming period of time when the laundry room will not be in use, and I can safely inundate the washer with tons of bleach, and give it all its open, free time.  We can only hope it will work.  If not, any volunteers to do my laundry?  ;-)

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June 02, 2007


Did you miss me?  Sorry, I was away on vacation, and while I did have computer access, I didn't devote very much time to such things.  I was enjoying spending time with my family instead.  My sister graduated high school so we were there for that, and then took time to visit afterwards.  We had a wonderful time.  I will be updating the Picture Album with some pictures of our trip when I get a chance.  For now, here is a listing of some general highlights:

  • Portable DVD systems are an absolute must on road trips.
  • It's quite strange to 'listen' to a movie multiple times but have no idea what's happening on the screen.
  • Netflix has been worth every penny, and then some.
  • Interstate speed traps SUCK.
  • Waffle Houses are at almost every single Interstate exit in the state of Tennessee (if you drive through the state, play this game - it's quite fun).
  • Illinois is quite a boring state landscape-wise, and this becomes all the more obvious when you drive elsewhere.
  • But our corn is much cheaper.
  • Gas was under $3 a gallon in Tennessee.
  • Given the opportunity, all of my kids would swim from sun up to sun down.
  • Roller coasters are still the most fun things in the world.
  • Well, the good ole Tilt-a-Whirl still has my heart, too.
  • When you leave your normal life behind to go on vacation, you may come home to a newfound appreciation for it.
  • Not that I didn't already know it, but I am totally digging family life.  Being a mom to my awesome kids and a wife to my wonderful husband makes me happier than anything.
  • There is nothing quite as comfortable as your own bed after being away.
  • There is no way we could downsize from a Suburban.
  • I really enjoy spending time with all of my family in Tennessee.  I really wish I could go there more often to spend time with them.
  • Happy 80th birthday to my great-aunt Ruby!
  • I really, really miss both of my grandmothers.
  • All of my children have my annoying hypersensitivity to insect bites and stings.
  • Shrek the Third is a cute movie.  I really enjoy going to a movie with all of my children.  Even better is also going with my siblings and mom!

Ok, I think that is enough for now.  I will post pictures for those of you with the credentials.  It's been an awesome week and a half for me, and hope it's been ok for you too!!!

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May 09, 2007

My Latest Addiction

Ok, I'll admit...I am addicted.

To Crocs.

Maybe I'm a 'crockhead?'  Whatever.  I just know I love these shoes.  I absolutely love them.

I don't seem to jump on a bandwagon right away.  In fact, I just recently got my first pair of Crocs.  Then I got some more...and if I had more money at the moment, I'd buy some more...

I also splurged a little and got Jordyn the cutest pair ever made.  How could I possibly resist these:


I had no self control.  Too cute, had to have them.  I am telling you, these shoes are so awesome.  They are just so comfortable.  It's like walking around with little clouds on your feet.  And now, the new Bass Pro Shop that opened up by us sells them.  I can get them even easier!  I think I need a raise to feed my addiction.

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May 04, 2007


We love Shrek.  The kids love watching both movies, and in fact, we saw the second one 4 times in the theater.  That was the summer we were living with friends as our house was being built.  The kids get so excited when a commercial comes on for "Shrek the Third" because they cannot wait to see it.  I'll even admit, I like the Shrek movies as well.  We know that Shrek and Fiona are going to have a baby from the preview.  Well, today I found out that it's even better than that:


Shrek's Triplets!

You can find the whole story and more pictures here.

How completely awesome!  Triplets!  The kids got the biggest kick out of that.  Now let's see what triplet humor is invoked.  Hmm, did Fiona 'take drugs?'  I wonder if she'll be put on bedrest?  Will she push the babies in a Runabout?  Will she, too, want a tummy tuck after the pregnancy?

Ok, ok, I know it's a cartoon movie, but come on.  This is just too funny.  Probably this household's favorite kids' movie and there will be triplets involved.  I love it!!!  :-)

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April 29, 2007

Sunday Miscellany

It's no secret that this family is filled with die-hard Jimmy Buffett fans.  Aaron and I have gone to his concert every year since 1995 (with the one exception of 2005 when I just had just given birth).  The concerts are like a religion, and you really can't understand it unless you've witnessed one firsthand.  We love his music, and luckily our kids have followed suit.  Well, something we've talked about making, Aaron finally did, and it turned out awesome.  Check it out:

It's 5 o'clock somewhere

Pretty awesome, doncha think?  It's a real working clock, and turned out perfect!

And speaking of awesome creations turning out perfect, here is another brainchild of Aaron's put into reality by his dad:

Corner Shelf

This is in the corner of the office.  There are a couple of Cardinals' items on it but aside from that, it's pretty nice.  Better than anything you could buy at a store!

And now speaking of the Cardinals, on a very somber note, this is very sad.  I feel sad for the Cardinals' loss of reliever Josh Hancock.  Oddly, this is the second pitcher they have lost during a Cubs-Cardinal series.  We were all set to watch the game tonight with some friends since the Cubs-Cardinals matchups are always such fun.  Rightly so, the game is being postponed.  Baseball lost a good pitcher, and that's sad news for any baseball fan.

Now to end on a much happier note, tomorrow is my bro's birthday.  He will be 22.  I can still remember the day he was born.  I was so happy to have a sibling; after all, I was 12 and had been an only child all that time.  Happy Birthday, my brotha...I'll see you in less than 4 weeks.

Last note, if you have the credentials, hop over to the Picture Album for a few new pictures.  Hope your weekend has been great!

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April 26, 2007

My New Toy

I work in technology.  However, I have refused to give up my paper based Franklin planner.  My personal agenda was written in the date slots so I could see everything at an easy glance.  My work meetings of course were on my laptop in Outlook.  My cell phone existed for calls, and more recently, for text messages (wow, I got fast typing text messages).  I refused to succumb to the world of PDAs.  I scoffed at those using "crackberries."  No, not me.


My recent work changes have made it so that I am on numerous conference calls every day, not to mention continual email conversations as well.  I work 20 (or more) hours a week, but I do not have 'set' hours mainly just because it would be more difficult to do that than not.  In order to make my life easier in this scenario, I finally took the plunge.  This is what I got: 

BlackBerry Pearl


What took me so long????

Why was I fighting it????

I now understand the allure of BlackBerries.  I now understand why people insist that once you get one, you could never go back.  Not only is managing my work schedule tons easier, but my personal life as well.  I haven't even had it a week, and I am totally and completely hooked.  I knew there would be a learning curve with the typing (the Pearl has a qwerty keyboard, but most keys have two letters so the device can be so small), but that has already started to work itself out.  I can download applications to it, and already have a Google map program that gives me satellite pictures of the location, as well as turn by turn directions.  I can browse the Internet.  I get my work emails faster than my computer does.  I can play music on it like a regular mp3 player.  It has a microSD card slot so you can transfer stuff (music, pictures, videos, whatever) from your computer and put it on the BlackBerry, and vice versa.  It has a camera with better resolution than my first digital camera.  And least important but worth looks friggin' cool too!

All of the separate ways to manage my life, both professional and personal, are now on one device basically the same size as my closed Razr.  How silly of me to wait so long.  And nope...I'll never go back again!!!

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April 18, 2007

Changes, changes

First, a blog change...I changed how comments can be left.  I am starting to receive junk comments (like spam emails for blogs) as I knew I would, so now in order for your comments to be published, you must be 'authenticated.'  We'll see how it works.  Not that a huge crowd of my readers are leaving comments anyway, so hopefully this won't inconvenience any of you.  I just don't want my blog to become filled with junk (other than my own, ha ha).  If you have any questions, please email me.

That said, I'm feeling old.  I have the third sinus infection since Thanksgiving.  I have been with a runny, stuffy nose and scratchy voice more often than NOT since November.  This particular sinus infection has come complete with a fever to make life even more interesting.  I went to the doctor in tears of frustration (and pain, ugh, my head!) on Tuesday.  His assessment was pretty much in line of what I've been thinking.  My allergies are not adequately under control and they are creating the perfect breeding ground for sinus infections to set in.  I am currently on a much stronger antibiotic, complete with an entire arsenal for getting the allergies better in check.  This seems to pretty much go in line with the thought that your body changes every 10 years or so.  10 years ago my allergies suddenly became so bad that I ended up doing immunotherapy (i.e., allergy shots) weekly for over a year.  Hopefully the newer medications will help because lord knows I don't have time for weekly shots again!  I just want to feel better.  I am growing so frustrated with feeling like I've been through hell and back every day...and that's just when I roll out of bed!  Please, invest some stock into Puffs because they are surely not going out of business anytime soon.

The next change is one that probably should have gotten its own post, but I'll do that complete with pictures on my web site when I feel better.  We had our first visit from the tooth fairy on Saturday.  Yep, that tooth of Connor's was finally loose enough to let mom yank it out.  He was so proud and so excited.  He even woke up early and ran into our room to show us his tooth fairy treasure.  Of course I got all teary because I am a dork like that.  It's just another sign of how fast my kids are growing up.  It seems like just yesterday he was barely 17 inches long, and here he is so tall, so smart and one baby tooth less.  Sigh.

The work changes previously alluded to are, well, changes.  Something I have to adjust to, and that's just how it goes.

The final changes are not directly my changes, but I had to mention them because I'm so excited.  Two good friends of mine are happily expecting triplets.  Yes, that means a high risk pregnancy and some unique challenges in child rearing, but I know they can handle it.  I am so happy for them and so excited to be able to support them throughout this chapter in their lives.  Additionally, another good friend of mine just found out she is pregnant this week after a long, long journey to get there.  Too soon to know if it's just one or more.  These two stories warm my heart in a way I cannot adequately describe.  Once you endure the monster of infertility, the pain of continual disappointment, the agony of cannot help but to be so ecstatic to hear of others winning their battles as well.  The pain of that traveled road stays with you no matter what.  It changes you forever.  And when good fortunes find their way to others, you feel all the more vindicated.

One final note before you all stop reading.  My heart goes out to all affected by the tragedy at Virginia Tech.  I cannot even imagine how horrible it would be to lose a loved one in such a senseless manner.  I do not know anyone personally, but it strikes me all the same.  We're all in this world together, and such tragedies give me a heavy heart.

Ok, folks, that's my book for today.  Hopefully next time I write, I'll be kicking these cooties.

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April 12, 2007

Thursday Randomness

Random Pet Peeves

  • Dirty toilets
  • Running late
  • People who drive slow in the left lane
  • Driving down Boughton and getting every.single.light red
  • Those little fuzzies that somehow always find their way to my contacts
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Excuses
  • My 11 year old cats' sudden desire to jump on the kitchen counter
  • Gas prices
  • Emails forwarded to me that promise a monetary payout if sent to 10 people
  • Bees (btw, I have searched and searched, but cannot find the name of the type of annoying bees that get all up in your face and in your food around here - errr, we could SO do without that type!)
  • Being asked "did you take drugs" when people find out I have triplets

And likewise, here are some simple little things that make me quite happy!

  • Hearing "I love you"
  • Hugs (especially from my children)
  • Smiles and laughter
  • Sunrises and sunsets
  • A gentle, steady rain
  • Finding 'lost' money in a pocket
  • Hanging out with my hubby after the kids are asleep
  • Traveling somewhere new
  • A glass (um, bottle) of really good red wine
  • Being in Wrigley Field
  • The sound of waves
  • Flowers

Any you want to add?

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April 06, 2007

Happy Easter

Short and sweet today.  I just wanted to wish you all a very Happy Easter.

Next week the kids are on spring break, and I am attending the Cubs home opener on Monday.  Even though the weather has turned back down in temperature, it will not interfere with my enjoyment.  The kids have yet to begin tee ball practice due to the cold temperatures.  Hopefully next week will be better.

By the time I update next, we should be minus a tooth.  Connor's bottom tooth is almost ready to exit.  We'll have our very first visit from the Tooth Fairy.  Hmm, I wonder how much the tooth fairy is leaving these days?

I learned this past week that two good friends are both expecting twins.  One may be expecting triplets, but she'll find out on Monday.  I am so excited for the both of them.  Having multiples is such a joy!

Ok, have a great weekend everyone!

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March 26, 2007

How To Tell...

...that perhaps you've been watching too many cartoons with your kids:

Sponge Bob

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March 16, 2007

Growin' Some Green Stuff

Too bad I didn't know how to grow money, because I could most certainly use more of that green stuff.  The way we go through food around here could blow your mind.  However, I do now have my own garden of sorts right in my kitchen.  I told you about it back here.  I'd like to share some pictures to show you how it's coming along...

Day 1 (February 14)

1st Day


After 2 weeks:

2 weeks


And now today, after 1 month:

1 month

So, so yummy.  If you cook with a lot of fresh herbs as I do, you know how delicious this looks.  The kids have been completely fascinated with watching the growth as well, so it's also been educational.  In about another week or so, it's time to have our first taste.  I can't wait!

Now, if anyone has any leads on how to grow money, please let me know.  What could bring a better educational experience than watching our past presidents' faces bloom on our kitchen counter (Jackson, Grant and Franklin preferred)?  ;-)

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March 12, 2007

A Breath of Fresh Air

We've smelled fresh air!  Yes, people, even after the near-blizzard which just spit on my birthday, barely a week later, we were out riding our bikes.  Taking a walk with the stroller.  Smelling air and feeling wind that DID NOT HURT!  It almost makes you believe that yes, just next week is the official start of spring.  To us Chicagoans, this doesn't always mean much since we can get snow in April or even May in those tough years.  But also to those of us of the northern climates, we embrace that air with the enthusiam of a freshly emerged periodical cicada, for it feels like air we haven't experienced in some 17 years or so (some winters feel that way, trust me).

Today while waiting for the school bus and enjoying all of that fresh air, the kids were kicking at the final few spots of snow (for now,'s not over, I guarantee it).  There were some nice, big piles just last week, and since these spots are hidden from the sun at the hottest part of the day, they are the last to melt.  I think the kids noticed the irony in kicking snow piles while dressed in their light jackets enjoying the warmth.  They started telling me their (sudden) dislike for winter, and how they can't wait for spring (they don't dislike winter either, it was just the moment).

I admit, spring is my favorite time of year.  There is just something about enduring winter weather that makes you appreciate spring that much more.  The first time you open your windows and let in all that fresh air is the absolute pivotal moment of them all.  It's like you can feel your soul rejuvinate, it's so awesome!  We're not quite there just yet, but it's getting close enough to taste.

Truth be told, I don't hate winter at all.  I actually enjoy snow, and I've even shoveled more this year than I have in a long, long time (since living on Columbia) and still maintain that attitude.  Snow has its place.  But days like today (and tomorrow, too!) make me excited to think about springtime - all the buds on the trees, flowers blooming, baby animals everywhere, fresh air, the different smells, being outside more...the list goes on.  To me, it always seems like a fresh start.  New beginnings.  The change of seasons is so fun to watch.  I might have been complaining about the cold for a bit there, but you know what?  I don't think I could honestly live somewhere that DIDN'T have 4 seasons.  There is just something...almost poetic...about going through a cold, snowy winter that makes springtime that much sweeter.  And probably the fact that the sentence I just wrote can be applied to so many other things in life is what makes it all the more fitting.

Happy-almost-springtime to you.  Enjoy the fresh air when, and while, you can.

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March 02, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Today is my birthday.  It's very sweet how many people have remembered and either sent me a Card (electronic or paper), or called.  My mom got me exactly what I asked for: additional exercise clothes.  And then Aaron got me an MP3 player to use while exercising.  Gosh, am I easy to please, or what?  ;-)  It's know, as parents, our birthdays aren't as important as those of the little ones.  So it's been a great birthday thus far. 

It's also Dr. Seuss's birthday, too (among others, like my friend Scott!  Happy Birthday, Scott).  In honor of the birthdays along with the crappy weather, here is a little story.

It's March 2, whoo hoo, whoo hoo!
There are lots of fun things to do.
Go outside and have a big wahoo.
But wait, now look outside, you!
This is safe to play in for who?

The cold, the wind, see it blow!
How long it will blow, we do not know.
To make it worse, now there is snow.
It is a lot of snow that blows.
Snow blows, snow blows.
That much I do know.

Oh sigh, it is very cold here.
It is windy, cold and snowing, dear.
Even dressed in the warmest gear
It is too, too yuckky; too yuckky, I fear.

So Happy Birthday to you this day.
I'm sorry I will not come out to play.
In the house you all should stay.
Until it is the first of May!

Have a great weekend everyone, and stay warm (IF it applies to you!).

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February 17, 2007

Forward Thinking

According to this site, Jimmy Buffett tickets are going on sale next Monday, and the show in Tinley Park at the "never-ending name changing stadium formerly known as The World" will be July 21.  Oh, yeah!


Now that's me looking around for a babysitter....

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February 15, 2007

Thursday Banter

I hope you all had a happy Valentine's day.  Mine was very nice.  I spent it with my favorite valentines all of whom live in my house.  I cooked a nice steak dinner on my trusty grill pan and was once again thankful for my interest in cooking (going out for dinner?  I usually end up disappointed these days).  BTW, if you don't have a grill pan, you really should get one...they are wonderful!  The kids ate way too much candy from their valentine exchange at school, but that is ok since it's a rare treat.  I was quite astounded at the very elaborate valentines most of the participants exchanged.  I just bought plain ones without candy, and I was in the minority there.  I guess you live and you learn.  I ended the day watching an interesting episode of Lost.  Oh, I also posted two new pictures to the Picture Album if you want to see them.  The kids all look curiously mature and I am wondering how they are growing up so fast before my eyes.

Possibly most exciting for me, and this perhaps makes me a dork but I don't care, is that I received my AeroGarden yesterday.  I am psyched about this thing.  I am in a Cooking Club and they had a promotion on it - free shipping, no payments until May, pay in 4 installments interest free if you so desire.  Hey, I can swing that!  I promptly set it up and the kids were interested in it too.  I really hope it works as well as it's advertised.  I would love to have an abundance of fresh herbs right at my fingertips.  I cook with them all the time, and I can only imagine how convenient and yummy they will be growing right on my kitchen counter!  We have SO much wildlife in our neighborhood that I just haven't felt like dealing with an outside garden, so this is perfect.

In other news, we now have about 8 inches of snow on the ground.  Tuesday was another snow day for the schools.  The weather is really working us this year!  Poor Aaron was in southern Illinois for work, and he drove home during the worst of it.  A normal 4 hour drive took him 7 hours, and then he promptly got stuck in our driveway.  No four wheel drive for him.

So did anyone get or give anything special for Valentine's day?

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February 05, 2007

So sad...

After the first 17 seconds of the game, I really thought we could pull it off.  But alas, we did not keep up the momentum and succumbed to the Colts.  So sad.  Thanks for a great season though, Bears.  It was a fun ride.  I sure hope we do not have to wait another 21 years for the chance again.

In case you don't know, I am a faithful Prince fan, and I have to say, his performance at half time was awesome.  That man still has it!  He's such a talented guy.  A fact for you: he taught himself how to play a ton of instruments.  Oh, and he is 48 (while watching this question came up and I was surprised I couldn't remember offhand).  He's just got such a sexiness to him.  Love him!  And as hard as it must have been to play guitar in that rain, he did a fabulous job.  The press conference incident was a little bit weird, I admit, but he did a great job where it counted.  I did get amused at the guitar shot.  If you don't know what I mean, read this.

To keep up my spirits, I'll focus on the fact that pitchers and catchers report on Valentine's Day.  Baseball season will be here before you know it.  I'm really excited about this coming season.  There have been a lot of long overdue changes and hopefully they will bring positive results.  Lou Piniella, let's see what you've got!

In other news, it's colder than a, well, I'm not sure what you could compare it to but it's brutal.  It was so cold today that school was actually canceled.  Man, it's going to feel like a heat wave when it gets back to double digits.

That's all I've got for today.  Hope you are staying warm in your part of the world.

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January 17, 2007

Carazzy Bloggin'!

(Hmm, my first problem with my blogger.  This is what I could recover from what I wrote, that didn't get published the first time):

Hey, didn't I just post a new entry yesterday? And many of you probably haven't even read it yet! Or maybe you did but it wasn't comment worthy. That's ok, I'll still keep blogging.

I was looking for a picture on my computer and I came across one that was so great, I had to post it to the Picture Album.  Please, go have a look if have the login credentials.  I posted a new one of Haley, but that's not the one I mean.

Aside from that, I thought it might be fun to post some facts about me.  Some you may already know, some you may not.  I will only do 10 to start, but I might add more down the road.  Here's your first 10, in no particular order:

10 Li'l Ole Facts About Me

  1. I used to bowl in college for the official team.  I worked at the bowling alley, too.  I actually got a little bit good at bowling for a while there.
  2. I can no longer bowl, and it has nothing to do with having four children.  This breaks my heart and I still dream about bowling quite frequently (pathetic? maybe, but that's me for ya).
  3. I type 70 words per minute, give or take.  According to this site using their 3 minute test, my gross speed is 76 wpm and net, accounting for errors, is 72 wpm.
  4. I despise elevators and will take the stairs whenever possible.
  5. I met my husband in college.  We worked together and had mutual friends.
  6. We didn't start dating until senior year when HE kissed ME (a debate in our household).  Still not sure how it happened, but glad it did.
  7. My first car was a 1977 Chrysler Cordoba, with its "fine Corinthian leather," 400 cubic inch engine and all.  I paid $800 cash for it after working two jobs all summer, and gosh, I LOVED that car!
  8. I cried when I had to trade in my Cordoba.  She was named G.G., short for gas guzzler.
  9. I can STILL parallel park like a pro.  Thanks no doubt to driving a Cordoba while living in the city (translation: your 'garage' was finding a spot on the street).
  10. My future husband used to slam the doors when he exited the Cordoba.  The doors were big, but such slamming was unnecessary roughness on my baby.  Amazing we hooked up after that flaw of his.  ;-)

Ok, go ahead and comment if you'd like.  I'd love to hear some of yours, and I'll probably post more down the road.

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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 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:

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 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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