Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Monday, December 30, 2013
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
On this Christmas night, I rejoice in the joy, the wonder, the peace... and the glory of my comfortable bed!
What an amazing couple of days it has been, and oh, so busy. I have long since passed the age of When-Will-Christmas-Ever-Get-Here, and now find myself in the permanent time warp of How-Can-It-Be-Christmas-Already. Still, most of what needed to get done got done, and I treasure the moments we have shared as a family.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Monday, December 16, 2013
Diet soda drinkers rejoice: Report says aspartame is not bad for you
To put it in perspective: A 150-pound woman could drink 20 12-ounce cans of diet soda a day without exceeding the safety threshold for the artificial sweetener.
(Niiice... I just make it under the threshold.)
Merry Christmas to me!
Saturday, December 14, 2013
(Benjamin is the cutie in colorful argyle in the front row, right of center.)
(Elisabeth is the stunner in the white gown in the front row, left side.)
(Amanda is front and center in a black dress with a white print, and a little black sweater.)
Madeline's preschool program is coming up in a few days. Now, that should be something!
We did not make lightly the decision to send our children to a Catholic school. Truly-- my parents spent their careers as public educators; Todd isn't even Catholic; the public schools in our town have an excellent reputation. And we visited a number of both public and parochial schools in the area before choosing a destination for our first-born school girl.
One moment I distinctly remember was when we attended the parent information meeting for prospective kindergartners at the public elementary school down the road. As the principal and other administrators and teachers discussed the many fine points of the institution, one of them described the various programs and events that take place during each school year. This included a "Winter Celebration" which would look at different cultures, beliefs and practices tied to the chilly season. Todd and I both looked at each other in horror and mouthed, "NO CHRISTMAS PROGRAM?!"
That wasn't the only factor.. and was not the deciding one... but, this week, when I sat before the stage at my kids' religious school and took in their Christmas program in all its glory, I was so thankful.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
VCD "episodes" can be triggered suddenly, or come on gradually. Many different things can trigger an episode. The primary causes for a VCD episode are believed to be gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), extra-esophageal reflux (EERD), exposure to inhaled allergens, post nasal drip, exercise, or neurological conditions that can cause difficulty inhaling only during waking. Other published scientific articles emphasize anxiety or stress as the primary cause; however, more recent literature indicates a likely physical etiology for this disorder. This disorder has been observed throughout the lifespan, from infants through old age, with the observation of its occurrence in infants leading clinicians to believe that a physiological cause is likely, such as reflux or allergy. Also certain medications, such as antihistamines for allergies, can provide a drying effect to the mucus membranes, which can further cause the vocal cords to be irritated or hypersensitive.
This syndrome can mimic asthma, anaphylaxis, collapsed lungs, pulmonary embolism, or fat embolism, and can lead to an inaccurate diagnosis and inappropriate treatment which may be harmful to the patient. Many VCD patients are diagnosed with asthma, but are unresponsive to asthma therapy, including bronchodilators and steroids. Among adult patients, women tend to be diagnosed more often. Among children and teenage patients, VCD has been linked with high participation in competitive sports and family orientation towards high achievement.