Written by Jessica on Tuesday, July 29, 2008

In less than 12 hours we'll be hitting the road! All six of us are piling up in the ole blue minivan and headin to Atlanta for what's sure to be an exciting and memorable trip. We're leaving immediately after the boys eat breakfast. Our first stop will be somewhere in Atlanta for lunch, then we're off to the Georgia Aquarium. After we leave the aquarium, we have no plans other than checking into our hotel, but I'm sure we'll get into something. We'll see how the boys are doing to determine our next moves. Our hotel is in Buckhead, right in the middle of everything, so depending on the weather, we make just strike out on foot and see where we land. Then, Thursday morning we're headin to Zoo Atlanta for some lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Taylor's really into Meerkats, and we read online that they have some at the zoo, so we may be spending lots of time there. We may check out the World of Coke or one of the many other attractions too, but we didn't want to plan too much. So, we'll see how the days goes with that. Then, as if that's not enough punishment fun, we're going to end our trip with a visit to the Pine Mountain Animal Safari.

How much does one have to pack for this overnight adventure you might ask...

Plus a couple of strollers already in the van... FUN! What's funny is that I am certain we'll get on the road and think of more than 1 thing that we've forgotten!

Lot's of pictures coming soon!

Written by Jessica on Sunday, July 27, 2008
Categories: ,

Ok, I didn't like how that turned out. The layout of the smilebox recipe page that is...The recipe itself is de-lish!

The recipe, by the way, is a combination of recipes I've found as well as things I added in myself after each time I've cooked it. If I ever copy a recipe, the credits will be listed. I always 'play' with recipes, never follow them exactly, and I don't measure or time things. So, when giving recipes to friends I often guess the cook time and amounts of ingredients..Or I say things like, 'cook until it's done'- 'add liquid and stir until it looks "right."' I get that from my Mom.

Anyways, I'm trying my best. I've heard from lots of you that you'd like me to post recipes. So help me out by leaving comments to let me as well as others know what you think, or ideas that you have to make the recipe even better! Comments also let me know that you are still enjoying and finding the recipes useful.

Since the last post didn't post as I wanted it to and it's too small to view, here's the recipe again.

Chicken Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo

1/2 a box fettuccine noodles
1 can cream of mushroom soup (98% fat free)
6 ounces shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of milk (2%)
6 chicken strips, washed and cubed
Frozen broccoli florets (add to taste)
Minced garlic and pepper (add to taste)

Boil water for noodles, Sauté chicken cubes in a little extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic. About 5 minutes before noodles are done, add frozen broccoli to water, cook with noodles remainder of the time. Drain noodles; combine mushroom soup, milk, and parmesan cheese. Simmer 5-10 minutes until thick. Top with more cheese if you'd like.

Even if you don't like mushroom soup, you'll like this! The cheese combines to make it a creamy alfredo taste. However, a less healthy, but tasty alternative is a block of Philadelphia cream cheese in place of the mushroom soup. For an even richer sauce, you can exchange heavy cream for the milk.

ALSO - this post has a label. That means you can click the label and it will pull up all the post I've written and assigned that label. So, if you want to cook something from a recipe you read here, but it was a while back that I posted it, you can come here, find a 'Sundee Supper'label on any post, click it, and it will pull up all the previous posts that had that same label.

Written by Jessica on Sunday, July 27, 2008
Written by Jessica on Friday, July 25, 2008

Thank you all so much for your support and willingness to take the time to go out there and vote and spread the word for me. Unfortunately there was some controversy over the voting causing the vote to be called off and it looks like now it will probably just be a random drawing. So, keep your fingers crossed!

In other news, Brayden slept through the night (7pm-6am!!) Wednesday night. Then, on Thursday we were a little off schedule because Taylor's baseball practice was a little later than usual and so they ate at 10pm and all slept through to 4am! It's getting close, but I'm not getting my hopes up too much. My little, hum, Big Brayden Bear is 13 lbs!! They'll be 12 weeks old tomorrow.

I caught Carter smiling (on camera that is). They are all starting to smile when you talk to them. After they get a full tummy they're all smiles. They're also starting to coo and make little noises here and there. It's all still few and far between, but I'll take what I can get.

We registered Taylor for school yesterday. The school is so nice, we are so excited we were able to get him in there. His teacher is Mrs. Walters, she seems nice and Wade, well, let's just say Wade won't be disappointed if we have any parent/teacher conferences! When registering us for the PTA, he put his name down on the form, forgetting about me, then saying there just wasn't enough room. Hmmm.. School breakfast and lunch is $70 a month. Sheesh! Does it ever end?? These boys are already eating me out of house and home! Looks like he'll be packing a lunch everyday. Speaking of eating...

July has been hot and I decided to make some sweet Popsicles to help cool things down. I found these super cool Popsicle molds at Bed Bath and Beyond ($2.99 for a mold that makes 4). Afterwards, I realized that I probably could have gone to the dollar store and got the same ones cheaper... I have to remember that dang dollar store! Anyways, they have a drip catcher and as the Popsicle melts down you can slurp up the juices through the super cool straw mold on the side. They are easy to clean, of course that means dishwasher safe, and Taylor LOVES the excitement of helping me make them. I made a big batch and as we ate one, I'd refill the empty mold with more of the mixture. You can also put some of this mixture in ice trays and put the ice cubes in regular lemonade to make it even yummier! So, are you ready to find out what this "mixture" is comprised of?? It's complicated...
1 frozen concentrate pink lemonade mix (use this can to measure water)
1 pint fresh strawberries, clean, cut off tops, and puree with concentrate
1 1/2 cans of water

Put strawberries and concentrate in the blender, put water into the container you're going to store it in, then add blended mixture, stir. Pour into molds. Freeze 4 hours or so.

Note: You have to dip the molds in water for about 3 minutes so they'll come out easily without pulling the stick out while the pop stays in the mold.
You can play with this recipe as much as you want by changing the flavor of the concentrate and the fruits you choose. Pink lemonade is probably one of the highest in sugars, go for the "all natural" and fruit juice blends to reduce the sugar intake. I get those huge bags of Dole frozen fresh fruit from Sam's, so I'll be making a healthier fruity blend with that next time and instead of adding the concentrate or water, I'm adding low-fat vanilla yogurt as my mixer...I'll let you know how that works out.

ENJOY! He sure is...

Written by Jessica on Friday, July 25, 2008

OK YA'LL - We made the top five.. Actually, we're NUMBER 4. I have to get over 1,000 votes to win.... You know what that means... GO VOTE. GET YOUR CO-WORKER TO VOTE, YOUR FRIEND, YOUR NEIGHBOR, THE LADY DOWN THE ROAD...I NEED EVERYONE'S VOTE!


GO TO http://triple-take.blogspot.com/ and click on the NUMBER 4 radial button. It will then take you to a site to create your own blogpoll. Just 'X' out of that.

This is over TODAY - So please go vote now!

Written by Jessica on Thursday, July 24, 2008
Categories: , ,

I've stumbled upon a stroller contest that I would LOVE to win. If I make it to the top three, I'll need your help to win it. Having triplets, the only way I can get around is with strollers. I have both kinds of triple strollers (in-line and side-by-side), but they each have their own disadvantages. For example, the in-line (tandem style) stroller isn't comfortable for the boys during the summer as no wind can get to them and the two in the back can't see anything. The side-by-side stroller is awesome - I love it! The one disadvantage, it won't fit through a door no matter how you turn it. So it's only good if I'm outside with no intention of trying to fit through any narrow spaces, like a standard size door!

A double and a singe stroller would be the perfect solution to our stroller conundrum. Even if it's just me and the boys going out, Taylor is old enough to push the single stroller with a pretty good degree of control. Ohhhhh how I need this stroller!!!

Click here to visit the giveaway website. Here's the picture I'm submitting:

Wish me luck!

Written by Jessica on Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'm trying my hand at digiscrapping. These are my first creations. Whatcha think?

Written by Jessica on Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We should buy stock in Lysol. Or give up the germ battle. Perhaps we're approaching this germ thing all wrong. Maybe, when one of us gets sick we should just cough on the others immediately so we can all be sick and then well again at the same time. Or maybe not. There's no way we would have managed with sick babies when I was sick last week. So, I guess we'll keep fighting the germ battle and perhaps we'll even declare victory a time or two. I'm feeling better now after a week or so of a miserable cold that still lingers in the form of cough and congestion. Yuck! Ok, so I'm dealing with my ailment when I about have a heart attack due to the new neighbors ailment. Let me explain. The neighbor two doors down has a 4 year old, an 8 year old, and an 8 month old. The older two girls and Taylor have been playing non stop. They come here to our house and play and then they go over to their house and play and so on all day long. A couple days ago the mom and I were outside at the same time. That's when she dropped the bomb on me. Let me preface this by saying I'm generally not a paranoid type mom that never wants my child to be around anyone with a sniffle, but this, this was no sniffle. She informs me she has shingles and her baby has chicken pox!! I try to hide my panic and disgust. All I can think of is Taylor and the older girls running back and forth from house to house, possibly spreading the virus with each play date. ARGH! So, then I have to be mean mom and ugly neighbor and forbid the kids to play together for a while. Although the 5 day fever the baby suffered prior to coming down with the "chicken pox" is subsided and the rash is spreading at this point. So my precautions are probably in vain. This story doesn't end there - fortunately - the baby does not have chicken pox. It's a virus in the same family that affects infants only called Roseola. Click here to find out more about Roseola. It's also a good website for other kid health questions you may have. Dr. Ellison said the boys should still have enough antibodies from me so as not to contract it. Whew! Right?

Now, for those of you reading this that are extremely sharp, you caught the fact that I said "Dr. Ellsion said.." Again, I'm not that paranoid that I would run them up to the dr. at the thought of possible exposure, I mean I'm rash-inal (hee hee), I'm waiting and checking the boys for symptoms like bumps and fever daily (again, paranoid, but rational) So I'm not running them to the dr. No, my doctor visit came when Brayden did in fact come down with a fever. And can I say ARGH! again. Brayden is taking the Lloyd record for ear infections. I didn't think, or at least I hoped, that Taylor's record of 3 1/2 months would never be broken. At the ripe old age of 11 weeks and 3 days Brayden has a minor ear infection and is starting Amoxicillin today.

My poor Brayden Bear:
On a happier note... Here's a blast from the past - Summer 2003:

Written by Jessica on Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ok, so it's 11:42pm. The boys are all asleep; all 5 of them, asleep. And I, well, I am awake. I should be sleeping. Yes, sleep is a very important human function. Yet, I, I am awake. Why? Why, you may ask. Well, I wish I knew. I haven't been sleeping well lately. And it's not because of the boys, I mean, they don't exactly help the situation, but they're not the cause of my insomnia.
I've been planning and researching for Taylor's birthday party (a carnival here at home this year, I'm very excited!). I've been working on new quick, easy, healthy, kid and budget friendly recipes. I've been contemplating and reading about making my own baby food versus buying it. We've been weening Taylor off sugar (well, at least high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)) for a month or so now, so I've been reading up on the HFCS debate a lot. I'm also a new again and paranoid mom, so I'm staying up reading lots of baby guru books/articles. I'm trying to become greener and more eco-conscious, so I'm reading and thinking about that. I'm planning a summer 'stay-cation'. I'm trying to organize the 400+ pictures on my camera as well as the 400+ on the computer that I just transferred over in a hurry - what a mess! And most disturbing, I think I'm also suffering from a little OCD. I think I'm turning into an OCD SAHM (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Stay At Home Mom)! For example, I tried going to bed earlier. But my desk was a mess from quick coupon clipping, newspaper reading, mail sorting, note-making frenzies during the course of the week. So, I HAD to get up and clear my desk; which of course led to re-organizing my coupon folder and discarding expired ones, which led to cleaning out my planner, which led to looking through some pictures, contemplating organizing those on my hard-drive, but deciding to go through my 'favorites' on my Internet explorer and organize them instead. I then tried to lay back down, but I'm thinking about the day and then I'm suddenly thinking about how I need to organize/clean out under the sink in the boys bathroom. Argh! Counting sheep doesn't work either!
At work, I considered myself fairly organized. Well, I'll just say compared to some, I was a very organized person. At times I would feel it slipping into OCD territory and I'd stop. At home, I've always been more laid back. Everything has a place, and it's nice when it's there, but if it's not, no sweat. But now, watch out! Because, well, everything has a place, and I like it there, and if it's not there I'm going to sit and think about it and it will bother me until it's where its supposed to be, and then I'll have to stay up until midnight ranting about it!
With 4 kids, uh hum, 4 BOYS, I can see this disorder sending me over the edge even sooner than the boys would cause me to jump.
Ok, enough. I'm being dramatic. But you see, I'm not well. ok, more drama... I guess I'll try this sleeping thing again, now that the boys should wake to eat in an hour or so.
Oh - I've also been thinking of some blog ideas. I'm doing all this research, I'm going to start posting some of my findings out here to help ya'll. I'm sure some of you would be interested in fun recipes. I may even be real ambitious and pick a day of the week to posy my findings, like Menu Monday, or Tasty Tuesday, What's for Dinner Wednesday...you get the idea. And posts like: High Fructose Corn Syrup: Friend or Foe? You be the Judge, How to plan your own Stay-Cation, ..your home Carnival, etc. So, lots of those types of ideas too. I get such great feedback from friends and family that read this blog, I feel like I should use it to share info too.
So, stay tuned.

Also, the feedblitz subscription tool on the right side actually emails you the entire post the next day, along with previous post titles that are hyperlinked for easy access. I subscribed, just to see how it works.. = )

Pictures and baby updates coming soon! From all of us here at the Lloyd house, Good Morning and Good Night!

Written by Jessica on Monday, July 14, 2008

I've stumbled upon this neat little tool. It's on the right side of this post, and it will allow you to enter your email address and receive email updates each time I add a new post. I'm guilty of sporadical posts, so this will alert you as to when I've found time to get one out here. I'd love to fit this into my schedule and have time set aside at least twice a week. I mean, laundry, feeding babies, baths, dishes, dinner, cleaning bathrooms, etc. all have a place, why can't I set aside time for blogging? Well, while I ponder this idea, here's a quick fix until I figure out how to do that.

It's really quick, easy, and of course, free. Just enter your email address, the next step asks how you want it sent (default is email), then go to your inbox and click on the feedblitz email and verify that you received the email by clicking a link in the message. That's it! If for any reason you ever get tired of getting the emails, you can "unsubscribe" with one click of your mouse.

As for new news with us... I'm sick and feel horrible. I'm pretty sure the boys are getting sick too. Figures! Just as we start trying to get them to sleep through the night they get sick! I mean, bless their hearts, my poor babies. As far as the boys sleeping through night - still a pipe dream. The first night they slept for close to 6 hours, since then, we've been lucky to get 2-3 hours at a time. It's been really hard and frustrating. At least before they were on a schedule, but hopefully before too much longer, we'll have an even better schedule... One that doesn't involve midnight and 4am feedings!

Alright, I'm off to try to rest for a little while. The babies are napping and Taylor, well, I may lock him outside for a while...Just kidding. I'll lock him in his room. = )

Written by Jessica on Thursday, July 10, 2008

The boys turned 2 months old July 3rd. My how time flys when you're having fun!
We had their 2 month check up July 7th; here's their latest stats:
Carter - 11lbs 7oz, 21.75" long, 15" head
Brayden - 11lbs 12oz, 21" long, 15.25" head
Tucker - 10lbs 10oz, 21.50" long, 14.5" head
Dr. Ellison gave them all a clean bill of health. He doesn't want to put Carter on meds for his reflux. Instead we're going to try giving him a little rice cereal as well as using a formula with rice starch that thickens in his tummy. I like that idea much better than medicine. Brayden may have a hernia; we have to keep an eye on it, hopefully it will heal itself over time if not, surgery will be required. Brayden also has a rashy body that led the dr to think he may have signs of eczema, only time will tell I guess. Apparently Brayden is also short and fat, so he is going to regular formula as is Tucker. Tucker is doing good. His appetite seems to be picking up, so he may catch up to his brothers by our next appointment. After our appointment with the pediatrician, we had to head over to the Medical Center for an x-ray of Tucker's right leg. In all the excitement of getting ready for the appointment Monday, dad accidentally stepped on Tucker's leg. The dr said it was fine, but Wade needed to be sure before he could feel better. The x-ray did indeed prove all was fine, Tucker was still whole, and dad felt better. We arrived at the dr office at 10am and left the Med Ctr at 3:30pm; a full day of drs was enough for me for a while and I must say, Taylor was not happy. After their examination, the boys each received 5 injected vaccinations in the thighs and 1 vaccination by mouth. They each cried for about 1/2 a second and then they were fine. Taylor couldn't understand why they didn't cry more. He was disappointed I think, he was hoping they would at least cry longer than he did when he got his last set of shots... Last night, with the drs blessing, we gave the boys 1 teaspoon of cereal in their milk - they slept 6 hours...Coincidence?? Many people are against cereal before 4-6 months, especially if the sole reasoning for the cereal is to extend sleeping periods. The dr said it won't help them sleep longer, but he thought it would be good to help keep them satisfied a little longer. I'm very rigid with their eating schedule. I have to be with 3 babies, but at times, they get hungry after only 2 1/2 hours and if I can't get them calm, I supplement them with 2 ounces so that I can satisfy them and yet still keep them on the schedule. What can I say? We have hungry, hungry boys... but a little cereal leads to greater satisfaction. I can't help it if a byproduct of that is more sleep! = )

We had an uneventful 4th of July. Taylor got a few fireworks. Mostly tankers, trucks, and airplane type things that race on the ground. He loved it and can't wait until "firework night" again. He said it was "the best night of his life."
We found a swing set on clearance at Toys R Us and we ended up getting over 50% off the original price. We had been looking for one, and you know I love a good deal, so we had to jump on it. As it turns out, we got the last one in the store... it was meant to be. Then we got it home and we started thinking, that huge swing set is all packed into those three little boxes??? At that moment, we knew we were in trouble!

Day 1

At least 8-10 full hours of work with help from George

Day 2

Day 2 was only about half a day of work, with help from Uncle Cliff.

Day 3

Just a few hours after work with more help from George got the climbing wall, slide, and other swings attached.

We still have to finish the roof, finish anchoring the slide, assemble and attach the picnic table and tic-tac-toe game and anchor the swing legs. Hopefully I can post a finished picture after this weekend.

Thanks George and Uncle Cliff for your help!!!

And now, for an update on Taylor's sports adventures. He earned a blue stripe in Karate. He has mastered the lessons taught to this point. After he earns another stripe, he can test for the next belt (yellow). He really likes going and has said he wants to learn enough to start teaching and helping other beginners.

Tuesday he went to his first coach pitch baseball practice. He wasn't incredibly excited about going. He said he wanted to, but when they day came, he said we should just wait until the next day, he wanted to play on his swing set more. Maybe he was a little nervous, or maybe he just didn't know what to expect and therefore didn't know that it may be fun. So after an hour and 15 minute practice, we asked him what he thought. He said, "I want to do that everyday!" I guess he liked it. The team is a mixture of 5 and 6 year olds, some that have played before and some that haven't. Tyson, one of Taylor's friends from school, is on his team, and Clayton. Taylor didn't know Clayton before Tuesday, but Wade and I know his family. So, it's nice that we all had some familiarity there and it all wasn't completely foreign to us. It was the boys first time being outside that long. It was a fairly cool afternoon for July in Alabama, but they still got pretty hot and a little fussy towards the end. Wade and I had to hurry and get bottles in their mouths as soon as we got home. We got a side by side stroller for outdoor use and I love it! It makes outdoor strolling much easier and much more comfortable for the boys.

"Take me out to the ball game..."