Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year In Pictures

Here is our year reviewed in photos. Enjoy and Happy New Year to all!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Getting Fit

One of my favorite websites that I visit everyday is The Consumerist. It has great stories that make me laugh and keep me up on anything involving consumerism. I have actually posted a couple of the articles here on my blog since they really are very relevant.

So, my first day on my way to fit went pretty well. I had no lattes/snacks/beer. I kept my calorie count to about 880 thanks to an awesome squash soup I made. My parents brought down some squash from their garden when they were here for Christmas. I made it into a tasty soup which is very low in calories. I had this soup for breakfast & as a late night snack. Yummy. The hardest part was looking at the pie, cake & cookies sitting on the counter! And then this morning the smell of the chocolate chip and blueberry pancakes as I cooked them... It is very hard not to sneak a little bite.

I was also able to put my time in on the Wii Fit. (My fit age came down to 38!) This really is a great product. The whole family can get involved and have a blast. Yesterday was a perfect example... Ariana is on vacation and the kids get really restless after a couple of hours inside. But, unfortunately, with the recent warm weather, it was quite muddy and icky outside. So, we were able to hook up the Wii and go skiing, walk a tightrope, run foot races (I kicked both of their butts!), head some soccer balls and lots of other stuff. Of course, it does not replace actually getting outside and getting fresh air, but on rainy, muddy days, it is a fun game that gets those hearts pumping.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Time Has Come

As much as I dread it, it is time... time to lose my baby weight. The realization really hit me when we went on the Polar Express... we were to wear our pj's and I usually wear sweatpants to bed. So, I put on my sweatpants & t-shirt as to be in the spirit of the trip. But, I then caught a look at myself in the mirror and was horrified! This should not be seen in public. Thank goodness I was going to wear a long jacket to cover the offending bum! Just so we are clear, I now weigh more than when I came home from the hospital with Acadia. And it is not my actual weight that is an issue, since I am within a healthy range for my height. It is where I carry the weight. I still look thin on the top, but the extra 15 pounds rests in a small area between my belly button and my knees. Ewww!!! I look like a pear! But it is the health factors that come along with carrying fat around your mid section that bothers me more: it is a strong risk factor for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some types of cancers. And, thanks to my new Wii Fit that I got for Christmas, I have proof that I am not healthy. The tests on the Wii Fit put my age somewhere in the late 40's! How pathetic am I?

So, starting tomorrow, I will be cutting back on the beer, snacks and my mocha lattes. I will also be committed to getting on the Wii every day and tracking my progress through my BMI, weight and Fit Age. I am excited to try the yoga program since I have started to really feel my age in the past couple of years and I could use some flexibility and stamina training. Thankfully, Ariana & Annika like the Wii Fit, so they will love to race with me or ski with me... not that they need any more exercise.
I will track my progress in my blog, which should shame me even further into staying on track. Stay tuned....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

From Blogger Pictures

The Hornes wish you a very happy holiday season! I will most likely not be posting as we spend the next few days with family, which is what Christmas is all about in our house. Grammy and Grampy will be here today as we watch "A Christmas Story", make gingerbread cookies and read the kids a couple of our favorite Christmas stories: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' and 'the Polar Express'. After the kids go to bed, I will most likely be doing my last minute wrapping, just like I do every year!

Christmas will be filled with my incessant Christmas music, lots of gift unwrapping and a huge turkey dinner (presumably way too much since I can never gauge how much food to cook.)

Saturday will bring Nana and Papa and more music, food, gifts and laughter.

Merry Christmas to all of our friends and family who we will not be able to see over the holidays. We love you and miss you all!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Horne Family Polar Express Ride

We went on the Polar Express with Ant, Kelly & Leilah last night. It was so fun, I highly recommend it if you can get the tickets.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Are You Experienced 2?

I touched on this subject a few days ago and then I read an article in Newsweek yesterday that was saying the exact same thing. I have tried really hard this Christmas to reel myself in and not buy unneeded junk for the holidays. I have tried really hard to stay away from all stuff battery operated. I mean, how many gadgets does one family need? (Colby would disagree with me on this one.) I am handmaking as many gifts as possible, which really illustrates how precious time is, since I am working day & night on these gifts. Anyhow, you really should read this article, it is right on the mark....

From a Newsweek article by Anna Quindlen:

What passes for the holiday season began before dawn the day after Thanksgiving, when a worker at a Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, N.Y., was trampled to death by a mob of bargain hunters. Afterward, there were reports that some people, mesmerized by cheap consumer electronics and discounted toys, kept shopping even after announcements to clear the store.
These are dark days in the United States: the cataclysmic stock-market declines, the industries edging up on bankruptcy, the home foreclosures and the waves of layoffs. But the prospect of an end to plenty has uncovered what may ultimately be a more pernicious problem, an addiction to consumption so out of control that it qualifies as a sickness. The suffocation of a store employee by a stampede of shoppers was horrifying, but it wasn't entirely surprising.
Americans have been on an acquisition binge for decades. I suspect television advertising, which made me want a Chatty Cathy doll so much as a kid that when I saw her under the tree my head almost exploded. By contrast, my father will be happy to tell you about the excitement of getting an orange in his stocking during the Depression. The depression before this one.

A critical difference between then and now is credit. The orange had to be paid for. The rite of passage for a child when I was young was a solemn visit to the local bank, there to exchange birthday money for a savings passbook. Every once in a while, like magic, a bit of extra money would appear. Interest. Yippee.
The passbook was replaced by plastic, so that today Americans are overwhelmed by debt and the national savings rate is calculated, like an algebra equation, in negatives. By 2010 Americans will be a trillion dollars in the hole on credit-card debt alone.
But let's look, not at the numbers, but the atmospherics. Appliances, toys, clothes, gadgets. Junk. There's the sad truth. Wall Street executives may have made investments that lost their value, but, in a much smaller way, so did the rest of us. "I looked into my closet the other day and thought, why did I buy all this stuff?" one friend said recently. A person in the United States replaces a cell phone every 16 months, not because the cell phone is old, but because it is oldish. My mother used to complain that the Christmas toys were grubby and forgotten by Easter. (I didn't even really like dolls, especially dolls who introduced themselves to you over and over again when you pulled the ring in their necks.) Now much of the country is made up of people with the acquisition habits of a 7-year-old, desire untethered from need, or the ability to pay. The result is a booming business in those free-standing storage facilities, where junk goes to linger in a persistent vegetative state, somewhere between eBay and the dump.
Oh, there is still plenty of need. But it is for real things, things that matter: college tuition, prescription drugs, rent. Food pantries and soup kitchens all over the country have seen demand for their services soar. Homelessness, which had fallen in recent years, may rebound as people lose their jobs and their houses. For the first time this month, the number of people on food stamps will exceed the 30 million mark.
Hard times offer the opportunity to ask hard questions, and one of them is the one my friend asked, staring at sweaters and shoes: why did we buy all this stuff? Did anyone really need a flat-screen in the bedroom, or a designer handbag, or three cars? If the mall is our temple, then Marc Jacobs is God. There's a scary thought.
The drumbeat that accompanied Black Friday this year was that the numbers had to redeem us, that if enough money was spent by shoppers it would indicate that things were not so bad after all. But what the economy required was at odds with a necessary epiphany. Because things are dire, many people have become hesitant to spend money on trifles. And in the process they began to realize that it's all trifles.

Here I go, stating the obvious: stuff does not bring salvation. But if it's so obvious, how come for so long people have not realized it? The happiest families I know aren't the ones with the most square footage, living in one of those cavernous houses with enough garage space to start a homeless shelter. (There's a holiday suggestion right there.) And of course they are not people who are in real want. Just because consumption is bankrupt doesn't mean that poverty is ennobling.
But somewhere in between there is a family like one I know in rural Pennsylvania, raising bees for honey (and for the science, and the fun, of it), digging a pond out of the downhill flow of the stream, with three kids who somehow, incredibly, don't spend six months of the year whining for the toy du jour. (The youngest once demurred when someone offered him another box on his birthday; "I already have a present," he said.) The mother of the household says having less means her family appreciates possessions more. "I can give you a story about every item, really," she says of what they own. In other words, what they have has meaning. And meaning, real meaning, is what we are always trying to possess. Ask people what they'd grab if their house were on fire, the way our national house is on fire right now. No one ever says it's the tricked-up microwave they got at Wal-Mart.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Naughty or Nice

From Blogger Pictures
As any good parent knows, this is prime time for giving ultimatums to your children. "You better be good, or I am calling Santa." We have already had to call Santa many times on Annika. So the other night, Colby was annoying her and she kept warning him that she would call Santa... but he just didn't listen. Finally, she grabbed her Dora phone and stomped into the kitchen, out of our sight. We heard the Dora phone ringing. "Santa, this Annika. My Daddy ticking me off! No toys for him! OK? Bye."
She came back into the living room and informed us that she had indeed called Santa and there would be no gifts for Daddy. Needless to say, we were doubled over in giggles at that point. She is so freakin' adorable!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Evolution of Mom

I came across this the other day.... and was shocked at true it is!

Yes, parenthood changes everything. But parenthood also changes with each baby. Here, some of the ways having a second and third child differs from having your first:

Your Clothes -
1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes are your regular clothes.

The Baby's Name -
1st baby: You pore over baby-name books and practice pronouncing and writing combinations of all your favorites.
2nd baby: Someone has to name their kid after your great-aunt Mavis, right? It might as well be you. (Annika's middle name is after her grandmothers'!)
3rd baby: You open a name book, close your eyes, and see where your finger falls. Bimaldo? Perfect!

Preparing for the Birth -
1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
2nd baby: You don't bother practicing because you remember that last time, breathing didn't do a thing.
3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your 8th month. (Absolutely!)

The Layette -
1st baby: You prewash your newborn's clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can't they?

Worries -
1st baby: At the first sign of distress - a whimper, a frown - you pick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
3rd baby: You teach your 3-year-old how to make a bottle.

Activities -
1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner. (If she's lucky.)

Going Out -
1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home 5 times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.

At Home -
1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of every day watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Are You Experienced?

Trouble thinking of gifts this year? Does your loved one already have too much stuff? Don't we all have too much stuff?
Think of getting them a memory or an experience... Any parent of young children knows that the best gift is a night out with your significant other. The best gift I could get would be an IOU for childcare along with a gift certificate for a dinner out.
You could also get tickets to an event.... of course, make sure you use You can get sports event tickets for a sports lover, concert tickets for a music efficenado, theater tickets and much more. At a time when we are very concerned about being green and reducing waste, what a great way to give someone you love a memory that will last a lifetime.
Another great gift certificate for an experience would either be to Vintners Cellar or Incredibrew. At Vitners Cellar, you can make and bottle your own wine. It seems like a nice night out with your girlfriends or husband. At Incredibrew, you can brew and bottle your own batch of beer at a very reasonable price. This can also be a fun night out with friends or family.
Another option to provide a fun experience is to get a gift that will culminate in fun with the family. A good example is something like ice skates. You can give them at Christmas and then they can be enjoyed for many months and lots of fun can be had.

Your loved one will appreciate your creativity and the great time.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Week in Review...

From Blogger Pictures

This weekend was a whirlwind for us... it was Ariana's annual holiday dance spectacular. It is a really cute show which all of the local nursing homes seem to flock to. But it is very hectic for us. She has dress rehearsal Friday after school, which put us home after 9 o'clock. And then on Saturday I went in to work at 7, went home by 11 to get her ready for her first show of the day. We headed off to the theater and were straight out for the rest of the day for her 2 shows.

Sunday I went to work at 7 again and then repeated the whole process over. Although she only had one show on Sunday, so we were home by 4. We then were able to get more holiday decorations up, make some cookies and Colb got Acaidia's crib put together upstairs (poor baby was literally outgrowing the bassinet).

On Friday night, as Ariana and I drove up our road, we saw that the neighbors who set up the spectacular Christmas lighting show had turned the lights on. When we got home, I grabbed Annika in her cozy pj's and loaded her in the car. When we parked in front of the house, she squealed with delight as she peered out the window. "Look, Mommy, a train... Santa... a helicopter... can we go in there???"

This place is so fun... they must have at least one full acre of holiday light display. As you drive by, there are always at least 2 or 3 cars parked with little faces pressed against the windows... it is one of my favorite parts of the holidays.

I started Acadia on cereal this week... my baby is growing up!!! Also, Annika has taken to playing games on the laptop. I hate seeing all of these milestones pass... it just means my babies are getting older.

(In the photo above, Ariana is a toy soldier on the bottom row, 3rd from the left.)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Get in the Spirit...

From Blogger Pictures

Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite holiday movies to get me in the mood...

Polar Express
Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
The Santa Clause
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Home Alone
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
A Christmas Story
Its A Wonderful Life
How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Another Sunny Day

I love....

blueberry muffins
waking to a bright, smiling baby every morning
hearing Ariana singing in the shower
taking a bunch of photos and then discovering one of them is 'fantastic'!
pumpkin spice coffee
coming across a great deal when I buy groceries
wearing snuggly slippers
hiking on a cool, autumn day
my jewelry
a good home brewed porter
crime mystery tv shows
finishing a coat of sheetrock mud & having it look perfect
any Broadway show
roadtrips (sans kids)
funky type fonts
pop-ins from friends on a friday night
beautiful gardens
playing board games
rain on my skylight
a great haircut
sitting in the park, hearing the laughter of playing children
warm beach in mexico
chocolate cake with chocolate frosting
christmas with children
reading a great book
my house
sexy underwear

i am pretty easy to please.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Hot Mama

For those of you who haven't seen me in awhile, I have been working out to shed my baby weight. I have also been tanning since I was feeling a little pasty. Not bad for a mother of 3, huh?
From Blogger Pictures

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Day in Cady's Life

From Blogger Pictures

Christmas is Here!

Our holiday season has officially begun. We went out last night and got our beautiful Christmas tree. We then cranked the Christmas tunes and drove around looking at the decorated homes. As the trip started, we were a little startled when, at the sight of every Christmas light, Annika would squeal "Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!" But it was really quite fun.

Unfortunately, we got home so late that we could not decorate the tree... but Annika is determined. This morning, she is sneaking upstairs every few minutes and getting a bulb, bringing it down and adding it to the tree! She just can't wait for everyone to be home tonight.

We have also started watching our Christmas movies... we watched the original Grinch and the new "Shrek the Halls", which were both hits here.

Yay!!!! Tis the season.....

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Week In Review

We had a long week here. Tuesday night the girls & I stayed up late making loads of chocolate chip cookies for Colb to share with his coworkers. Although he ended up working for about 30 hours straight and never had the enegry to go deliver them all... so we ate lots of cookies this week.

Thanksgiving Ariana & I kept with tradition and volunteered at Edgewood Center nursing home in Portsmouth. Of course, the residents loved her and we had a great day making people smile. I left Colby with a turkey stuffing meatloaf, which he seemed to enjoy. After volunteering, Ariana & I headed to Maine to see my father. That was... interesting. He was happy to have us and our fresh baked pumpkin pie, apparently his favorite.
Friday was a long day for me, working around 11 hours and doing a little shopping. Kaitlin came over to keep Ariana company for a couple of days and they had a blast. The rest of our weekend was fairly uneventful, except the multiple visits from our good friends Jeff & Kell, who just could not seem to get their car home from our house. Another week... come... and gone.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sexism Blah Humbug!

As I have been researching my pink Tonka trucks, I have run into a ridiculous debate over Christmas toys. Apparently people are appalled that there are gender specific toys like kitchens and Tonka trucks. I came across one blog of a mom who would throw out her daughters gifts if people gave her anything 'girlie.' It is so absurd. Why can't kids just play with what they want to play with? My girls like to play with Barbies, matchbox cars, Care Bears, trampolines, legos, puzzles, coloring books... etc... How would I be bettering their confidence, psyche or self esteem if I took out the Care Bears and Barbies? Shouldn't a key point of feminism be letting a little girl know she can be and do whatever she wants to do? Ariana excels at dancing, should I stop her since that is a traditional feminine activity? Should I force her to be a soccer player even though she isn't as good at it? What are you teaching your daughter if you make her play with all gender-neutral toys? I want my girls to do whatever makes them the happiest in this life. Whether they want to wear mascara & high heels or flannel and cargo pants; whether they want to be a homemaker or a doctor; whether they want to spend their days in a bikini surfing in Hawaii or bundled up climbing Mt. Everest.

So they will play with their Tonka trucks... and they will be pink, damn it!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pretty in Pink

It all started when Annika, Cady & I went to one of Ariana's soccer games. There were a bunch of little boys playing in the dirt of the baseball diamond. Annika joined in & was quite enamored with the Tonka truck that the boys had. When we went back for the next game, the boy had brought back the truck and Annika again took it hostage. It brought back memories of me playing with my brothers Tonka (ok, not so much playing as fighting over).

Also, we have a huge patch of dirt where we spread the new loam last spring and never planted seed. This is a favorite spot for the girls to play in. They will spend hours playing there with matchbox cars or my kitchen utensils.

So, this brings me to my Christmas shopping. I decided I would get two Tonka dump trucks (even though they are 5 years apart, Ariana & Annika still fight over every toy). And of course, with our passion for girlie, I wanted pink trucks. I can always find most anything I want to buy on the internet... but not PINK Tonka trucks!!!! As I looked at the Tonka website, the tag line is "Built for Boyhood." I guess this would explain why there are no feminine colored Tonka's. I did find a website that would pimp Tonka's for $75!!!
So, this is my new project. I will pimp my own Tonka trucks for the girls. I will go out tonight and try to find real steel Tonka's and then head to an automotive store to find some paint. I hope to come out with a product similar to the one pictured here. I know they will love them if I can pull it off and I will feel so good to give them a toy that I have put my heart and time into. Wish me luck! I will post photos as the project goes along.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sleeping With The Enemy

Colb & I have come to the realization that Ariana really does have OCD. This is my pantry that she feels needs to be in this order. She even does this when we are shopping. She can't stop herself from aligning all the products on the shelf or clothes on the rack. Now if only she would be so obsessive about the cleanliness of her bedroom!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


This is a new Ani song which perfectly affirms how I feel when I look into my girls' eyes....

lately i've been glaring into mirrors
picking myself apart
you'd think at my age i'd of thought
of something better to do
than making insecurity into a full-time job
making insecurity into art
and i fear my life will be over
and i will have never lived unfettered
always glaring into mirrors
mad i don't look better

but now here is this tiny baby
and they say she looks just like me
and she is smiling at me
with that present infant glee
and yes i will defend
to the ends of the earth
her perfect right to be

so i'm beginning to see some problems
with the ongoing work of my mind
and i've got myself a new mantra
it says: "don't forget to have a good time"
don't let the sellers of stuff power enough
to rob you of your grace
love is all over the place

there's nothing wrong with your face
love is all over the place
there's nothing wrong with your face

lately i've been glaring into mirrors
picking myself apart

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hitchcock Meets Barbie

I was browsing Amazon for gift ideas for the girls today. I checked the Barbie section since Annika is enamored with her right now. I came across this Barbie from the Hitchcock movie The Birds. This is seriously one of the creepiest movies I have ever seen. And they made a Barbie out of it??? I swear, this is not a hoax, it was for sale on Amazon! I am not even sure what to say about it, I am speechless.

What next, a Barbie as Janet Leigh from Psycho, posed behind a shower curtain????

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tattoo You

Well, now that the baby factory is closing, Colby & I can resume our previous journey of getting more tattoos (well more for me, one for him.) Our tattoo- enthusiast friend, Brock was nice enough to loan us a pile of tat magazines to browse through. So last night, we all snuggled on the couch and scanned hundreds of tattoos. Ariana was trying to find even the slightest glimpse of a butt crack so she could giggle & tee hee. Annika was quite interested in finding the grossest, scariest tattoo she could... and Cady just drooled all over the books. Annika did find a sweet pinup girl that she really wants on her belly.
It was actually a fun time with the girls'. But, I think we could be studying Money Magazine, and they would be happy, as long as we were all hanging out as a family.

Stay tuned for the newest Horne works of art....

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dear Santa,

I was cleaning Ariana's room the other day & I came across this list and I just had to share it. I have not corrected spelling or grammar...

Christmas List
Madagaskar 2 Africa The movie
Junie B. Jones #9, #14, #19 and the others and other disasters Don't Make me Smile
You only have to, well actually you can get me only 2 books.
Maybe High School Musical #3, the movie
An American Girl Doll and a new clock
2 Gameboy games

Stuff for Annika
New Dora Doll
Care Bear movie
3 books
Strawberry Shortcake movie
1 picture frame for a picture of her beautiful self

Isn't this so freakin' cute? She is so sweet to always think of her sisters. She is one of the most selfless & giving people I know. Man, I love my kids.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Girls

I thought I would throw out a little more upbeat blog entry since this past week they have not been real sunny.

In her third month, Acadia has found her hands. She spends lots of time wringing her hands and trying to grab everything in her reach. She is still not sleeping through the night and keeps me up quite a bit.

Annika went to her first theater movie yesterday. Colby took her to see Madagascar II and she loved it (of course.) Colby said she tried to switch seats a few times, but all in all, she did well. She is very excited to go back & see another one already.

Ariana went hiking with her best buddy, Grace, on Tuesday. The girls did very well on a 5 hour hike that even had snow flurries. I am very happy that she enjoys hiking so much, I know other children her age who can't fathom climbing to the top of a mountain just to turn back and climb back down.

Ariana also got her first grades of the year and did very well. She excelled in music and reading, as usual. She has joined the chorus recently and will be performing for the school and at other places like nursing homes. I don't know how well she does in the chorus, but she certainly is convinced that she is a great singer!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kiss a Vet

Today is Veterans Day.  This holiday originated as Armistice Day as major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice. In 1919 it was pronounced by President Wilson as a national holiday "to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as Armistice Day.

Though I am opposed to most any war on many levels, I will still give much respect for those who serve in the military. They are brave, selfless and they fight for my freedom every day. I have family, friends and coworkers that have served in multiple battles.  I thank them all for their service and just hope that someday we will not need their service any longer, especially to the extent we need them today.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Be Well

Colby's aunt Maureen has become critically ill over the weekend. She has been rushed to Dartmouth Hitchcock with possible cancer of the liver. Colby has gone there now to be with her and his family and I ask that you please put her in your prayers, thoughts, or whatever spiritual resources you might have. She is a wonderful, happy, loving, giving & fun woman. She has 2 children and three grandchildren who really need her to watch them grow and become wonderful people themselves.

We love you, Auntie Mo!

Friday, November 7, 2008


Burton Snowboards are causing a huge controversy with their new Love line of boards. These boards feature images of Playmates from the 80's. They have already been banned at ski mountains across Vermont and caused protest outside the Burton headquarters.

I find this ironic considering what we see every day in the mainstream media. The Burton boards are pictured here on the left, just above a Calvin Klein ad that is everywhere, including on billboards for all to see. Seriously, don't we have more serious things to worry about right now??? I wouldn't necessarily be comfortable with my daughters seeing this snowboard, but it would be easier to explain than, say, why we have lost thousands of American citizens in a war over non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

Burton CEO Laurent Potdevin says the company supports freedom of artistic expression and stands by the boards.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sad State of Affairs

As I have long talked about, eating healthy is nearly impossible on a limited budget. One apple costs around 75¢, while I can could feed my whole family for 24¢ in Ramen noodles! The single item we spend the most on every week for our family is milk, at about $15 per week. I bet I could spend about $2 a week if we drank cool-aid or $4 or $5 if we drank soda.

I am lucky that I am so good with coupons & shopping sales that I feed our family for about $70-$80 per week. This includes meat & fresh fruits and veggies. But most people do not have the time to search grocery sales, cut coupons and run to 3 different grocery stores.

Anyhow, I came across this article in the New York Times this morning that spoke about the same stuff I have always said. You should read the article, it is interesting.

Published: November 3, 2008
How much does it really cost to eat a healthy diet?
Economists, health researchers and consumers are struggling to answer that question as food prices rise and the economy slumps. The World Bank says nearly a billion people around the world live on a dollar a day, or even less; in the United States, the daily food-stamp allowance is typically just a few dollars per person, while the average American eats $7 worth of food per day.
Even middle-class people struggle to put healthful food on the table. Studies show that junk foods tend to cost less than fruits, vegetables and other healthful foods, whose prices continue to rise.
This fall a couple in Encinitas, Calif., conducted their own experiment to find out what it was like to live for a month on just a dollar a day for food. Overnight, their diets changed significantly. The budget forced them to give up many store-bought foods and dinners out. Even bread and canned refried beans were too expensive.
Instead, the couple — Christopher Greenslate, 28, and Kerri Leonard, 29, both high school social studies teachers — bought raw beans, rice, cornmeal and oatmeal in bulk, and made their own bread and tortillas. Fresh fruits and vegetables weren’t an option. Ms. Leonard’s mother was so worried about scurvy, a result of vitamin C deficiency, that they made room in their budget for Tang orange drink mix. (They don’t eat meat — not that they could have afforded it.)
Breakfast consisted of oatmeal; lunch was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Dinner often consisted of beans, rice and homemade tortillas. Homemade pancakes were affordable, but syrup was not; a local restaurant gave them a few free syrup packets.
One of the biggest changes was the time they had to spend in meal preparation.
“If you’re buying raw materials, you’re spending more time preparing things,” Mr. Greenslate said. “We’d come home after working 10 to 11 hours and have to roll out tortillas. If you’re already really hungry at that point, it’s tough.”
While he lost weight on the budget diet, Mr. Greenslate said, the larger issue was his lack of energy. During the experiment he was no longer able to work out at the gym.
A few times they found a bag of carrots or lettuce that was within their budget, but produce was usually too expensive. They foraged for lemons on the trees in their neighborhood to squeeze juice into their water.
Ms. Leonard said that after the 30-day experiment, one of the first foods she ate was a strawberry. “I almost cried,” she said.
The couple acknowledged that the experiment was something of a luxury, given that many people have no choice about how much to spend on food.
“People in our situation have the leisure to be concerned about issues like this,” Ms. Leonard said. “If we were actually living in this situation, I would not be taking the time to be concerned about what I could and could not have; I’d be worried about survival.”
Researchers say the experiment reflects many of the challenges that poor people actually face. When food stamps and income checks run low toward the end of the month, they often do scrape by on a dollar a day or less. But many people don’t know how to prepare foods from scratch, or lack the time.
“You have to know how to cook beans and rice, how to make tortillas, how to soak lentils,” said Adam Drewnowski, director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington. “Many people don’t have the knowledge or the time if they’re working two jobs.”
Last year, Dr. Drewnowski led a study, published in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association, comparing the prices of 370 foods sold at supermarkets in the Seattle area. The study showed that “energy dense” junk foods, which pack the most calories and fewest nutrients per gram, were far less expensive than nutrient-rich, lower-calorie foods like fruits and vegetables. The prices of the most healthful foods surged 19.5 percent over the two-year study period, while the junk food prices dropped 1.8 percent.
Obesity researchers worry that these trends will push consumers toward less healthful foods. “The message for this year and next year is going to be affordable nutrition,” Dr. Drewnowski said. “It’s not the food pyramid, it’s the budget pyramid.”
The experiment in California was hardly the first of its kind, though the teachers’ budget was tighter than most. Last month Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm of Michigan and her family took a weeklong “food stamp challenge,” spending only $5.87 per day per person on food — the Michigan food stamp allotment. She told reporters that she ended up buying a lot of macaroni and cheese. Last year Gov. Theodore R. Kulongoski of Oregon lived for a week on his state’s $3-a-day food stamp allocation.
Ms. Leonard and Mr. Greenslate, who chronicled their dollar-a-day experience on their blog,, say they are looking at other ways to explore how difficult it is for people with limited income to eat a healthful diet.
“I challenge anyone to try to live on a dollar a day and eat fresh food in this country,” Mr. Greenslate said. “I would love to be proven wrong.”

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


This is for all the parents out there... I went to Amazon today to start looking for Christmas gifts. As I opened the site, I saw a notice on their front page (pictured here, to the left) It talked about how Amazon has partnered with their vendors to get rid of the ridiculous amount of packaging that comes with so many products! For those of us who spend endless hours on Christmas day unpackaging our kids gifts, this is VERY exciting news! It will also greatly reduce a lot of waste from our landfills. Read the column to the left to learn more...


"Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run. Obama's running so we all can fly."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Times They Are A Changin'

I was at the polling office when they opened this morning and what a great experience. I got to see the whole gamut of the process. I watched as a lady in her late 80's made a very slow walk up the driveway to cast her vote. She was aided by (possibly) a granddaughter as she took her place in line with the rest of us.
As I entered line at the booths, I was behind a kid who was clearly voting for the first time... as his mom was taking his picture! He made a loud comment about his vote for McCain and his mother chided him about vocalizing your vote while at the booth.

I have to admit, I was choked up as I watched the whole process. Seeing the people taking advantage of the democratic process from all walks of life was touching. Also, the possibility of having a black president is just so awe inspiring. I have had long conversations with Ariana about how much of an impact that victory would have on the USA and the whole world. She has a small understanding of it, but clearly has no idea how profound it could be. I already warned her that if Obama wins, expect tears from me tomorrow, as I stated from the very start that there was no way our country would vote for a black President. How amazing would it be for me to be proven wrong??? (Thank goodness for George Bush!)

The Wonder Years

Ariana was a cat for Halloween, but with those teeth, you'd think she was a bunny rabbit! Can you remember those awkward years... from about age 9 to 13 (for me it was until about 20!) when your teeth were too big for your face (or you get braces) you get glasses at around that age, your feet are just a little too big, your hair is just never quite right.... What a devastating time in life! (At least for little girls, I don't think boys even care) Poor Ariana is just starting that stage and I feel for her.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I watched the movie, Magnolia, this weekend on the recommendation of a friend. I can count on one hand the number of movies I have watched that were over 3 hours, but it was worth it. It was an intricate story, intertwining the lives of many people in one sad tale. I had some trouble following it, especially at the end, due to the fact that it seemed to make reference to an excerpt fron the Bible (Exodus 8:2- "And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs".) And also from the writing of Charles Fort, whom I have never read. But, after I researched the background of some of the confusing parts of the movie, it made perfect sense and was a very interesting movie. It was a little sad for me, though. I am one of those people who watch movies for entertainment purposes and not for personal growth. So I typically will avoid sad movies. But, this one was worth it, if you have the 3 hours to dedicate.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Yesterday was Trick or Treating here and with Colby away, it was up to me to take all 3 girls! I didn't get many pictures, as you can imagine, my hands were very full. But I will get more tonight when Colby gets home to take them out in Concord.
When we were done trick or treating, we went over to Lori's house and she happened to have out her bucket of Halloween costumes. So when Annika had Leslie put this wig and devil ears on her, I had to take a picture. For those of you that know her, it is very appropriate.

This kids had a great time getting treats, we went with our friends Grace & Lesley. It was a very cold evening, but of course it didn't bother them. Acadia was very good in the sling and didn't say a word. Annika had tap shoes on and everyone got a great laugh as they could hear the rapid "Click click click click" as she hurried down the road from house to house. It turned out to be a great idea since there was no chance of losing her, even in the dark. She was more fearless then even her sister as she went right into haunted houses and walked right up to the scariest of characters. I had fun too as I watched Lesley (who is fairly conservative) spraying silly string at houses who did not participate in the Trick or Treating. Well, I guess they did participate... just unknowingly in the 'Trick' portion of the night.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Tramps

As I was looking online for Halloween costumes, I saw a disturbing trend. Almost all of the little girls costumes were trampy! Even for Annika'a age. But the one's for size 8 (Ariana) were just disgusting! Ariana is still a baby and the costumes include fishnets, bare bellies, high heels, tube tops, etc. I can't imagine sending my 8 year old out into the night wearing these clothes. But obviously people are buying them or there would not be such a market for them. Don't parents realize what they are doing to their daughters?

I read an article from the American Psychological Association that was quite appropriate. Here is just a small snippet...

"The APA task force's team of psychologists linked oversexualization with three of the most common mental health problems for women 18 and older: eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression. And there is evidence that the effect is trickling down the age brackets. "Clinicians are reporting that younger and younger girls are presenting with eating disorders and are on diets," says Zurbriggen."

Just check out these costumes... remember, they are all made for Ariana's age. They would be fine for me to wear, but does my 8 year old need to wear a skirt that is 3 inches long???

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Basketball Team

Acadia had her 2 month checkup yesterday. She is very healthy, of course. She was 12 pounds and 24 1/4 inches long. She is in the 90-95 percentile for her height, which is exactly where Ariana always was as a baby. Anniks runs around 70%. They are all around 30-40% in weight... so they are all set to be tall & thin... lucky girls.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Estrogen on Overload

So, if you haven't guessed by now, I went to Rhode Island to hang with Isolde & Tabatha. Isolde & I stayed in as fantastic boutique hotel in the heart of Federal Hill. As I turned down the road, the smell of all the Italian restaurants made my mouth water! It was a supercute suite located in a beautiful spot.

We stopped at Whole Foods for a bite and the liquor store for some beer and headed to the festivities. As we arrived, Tabatha was very pleasantly surprised and lookin adorable in her Halloween getup.

The night flew by with great conversation, lots of off- color joke telling, some tipsy pumpkin carving and a pouring rain storm. Isolde and I finally fell into a slumber at around 2am, and I enjoyed every minute of my undisturbed 7 hours of sleep.

Sunday was absolutely perfect. We awoke to 70 degree sunshine as we walked out into the courtyard filled Italian music. We had breakfast at our favorite spot... it is always so yummy! (Think apple/cream cheese/granola pancakes!) We then decided we needed to be outside to enjoy the sun so we took a walk, stopped in a consignment shop, grabbed a coffee and headed to the water.

The next hour or 2 was wonderful for me. We just sat by the water, skipped rocks, sipped coffee and simply talked. The female connection is so important to enjoy and indulge in whenever you can. Especially my friends... you can't do any better than them! One anti-patriarch, ultra liberal; one professional, stylish world traveler; and one artistic mom of three. It might sound as though we would be quite different, but we are all very similar. Our conversations are not filled with any sort of debate, but rather adding points in concurrence.

We talked about politics (of course), sexuality (the phenomenon of gay men and public parks), pregnancy, fashion (who the hell decided to add spandex to denim?), alcoholism, white trash/redneck lineage, innate parenting skills, birds, vacations, activity (or inactivity), love, marriage, stock market, emotional weight and probably 100 other random things. It is so nice for me to share views with other independent, dynamic, intelligent women. I told them how much I appreciated them and their friendships, as true friends are hard to come by and I have learned that lesson as we have moved geographically further apart.

The day ended with hugs and giggles in the pizza parlor parking lot. I missed them before I even pulled out of my parking spot. Until next time, my lovely ladies....

Friday, October 24, 2008


I posted my 300th photo on my photoblog today. That is a huge feat for me. A bullet on my 'bucket list' a couple of years ago was to take more pictures. And I would accomplish this by starting a photoblog. I really wanted to take a photo per day. I soon realized that this just is not feasible for my life. I can take a photo every day but getting it uploaded is another issue. I do, however take far more photos than I used to. And with my 300th photo, I was able to look back & see how my photography has changed over the past 2 years. It had definitely improved & expanded.

It is also such a retreat for me. Taking a photo is, if just in that moment, such a calming hobby for me. It is something I absolutely love to do. I also love that my girls will be able to look back at their life is pictures. I always envied my friend, Isolde, as her father took wonderful pictures of her & her siblings which really illuminated their stories. I try to really capture the emotion in my photos so that when they look back, they will be able to feel each moment as they recollect it.

300 and counting...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I knew when the show opened and there was a horn section behind Jason as he stood barefoot on an oriental rug that it was going to be a good night. I went to a Jason Mraz show at the Orpheum Theater last night and it was very nice. He is a very upbeat and happy performer. As he sung, images flashed behind him of waterfalls, flowers, smiling people... oh, and Obama. He really puts on a feel good show, I think I smiled the whole time. Which is good, because after the trip in Boston, your stress level can get a little high. Especially during the Celtics home opener!

It was a nice night out... good music, good beer, good people.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kids Say the Darndest Things PART FOUR

As I am feeding Acadia this morning, Annika looks on. I always rub Cady's head as she's feeding... I turn to Annika and say "Cady likes it when I pet her head."

"She's not a cat, mom." Hahahhah... I have told her this repeatedly when she tries to 'pet' Cady. At least I know she's listening.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Funny Stuff

If only you could see me in my backyard with my camera!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Father

This is my father. Can you see the resemblance? Me neither. If he had not made me have a DNA test (yup, Jerry Springer) I might not believe he was my father. I did not meet him until I was 18. Although I grew up only miles from him, I grew up worlds apart from him. He did not exist to me for much of my life. The 'Father' portion of my birth certificate is blank and that is reflected throughout my life. From my very limited exposure to him, I know very little about him. I need to try to spend more time with him so that I can learn about my past & my children may learn about theirs. I took my 2 youngest to meet him this past weekend. They seemed to be comfortable with him and they made his eyes light up. He is a very lonely man and having his boisterous grandchildren was a highlight for him in his quiet world.

Here are some facts that I do know...

He wore trucker caps before truckers caps were cool.
He is missing a finger due to a (presumably not sober) wood chopping incident.
He was born December 10, 1944.
At least 2 of his children slept in a dresser drawer as infants.
He has not had a drivers license for over 30 years.
Due to his lack of license, he has 2 tractors that he uses to drive around his area.
He drinks Bud bottles.
He is a union worker for Bath Iron Works.
He served in the US military.
His wedding gift to me when I married was a six pack.
He has (at least) 4 children and 6 grandchildren.

That is really about all I know so far. Hopefully, if I spend more time, I will learn more....

Sunday, October 12, 2008


... and VOTE!
Read on and show your grandma some respect...

As Woodrow Wilson took office in January 1917, demonstrators took up positions outside the White House, holding round-the-clock vigils demanding the vote for women. In spite of the on-going world war, they refused to step aside or muffle their demands.

Instead, Alice Paul, Lucy Burns and other members of the National Woman's Party aimed to humiliate the president and expose the hypocrisy of "making the world safe for democracy" when there was none at home. Their banners said, "Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty." They hung Wilson in effigy and burned copies of his speeches.

Arrests began in June. "Obstructing traffic" was the usual charge, but many prison officials--as well as citizens--considered the suffragists traitors. In the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia, they ate rancid food; were denied medical care and refused visitors. The demonstrators applied for political prisoner status. It was denied.

But the government's tactic didn't work. On release from prison, women returned to the White House gates. Their ranks swelled. By November, there were more marches and more arrests. An investigation had been launched into conditions at Occoquan and the activities of its superintendent, W.H. Whittaker, whose special cruelty was well known.

Thus unfolded the "Night of Terror" on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

The women were defenseless, and by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against 33 women convicted of "obstructing sidewalk traffic." They beat Lucy Burn, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--gruel--was infested with worms. When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

It is jarring to know Woodrow Wilson and his cronies tried to persuade a psychiatrist to declare suffragist leader Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized and taken out of the spotlight of the battle for women's right to vote. And it is inspiring to know the doctor refused. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy. The doctor admonished the men saying:

"Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity."

More Info here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Abbey Road

I took the girls on a road trip today. We went up to Jackson to see the 'pumpkin people' displays. There were a lot of interesting displays and the girls loved them. We then headed back across route 302 to see some of the foliage. We got out at Crawford Notch and the girls played around as I took pictures. I really didn't get any pictures that I liked. I really never like foliage photos... I think it is because I have seen it for my whole life.

It was a fun trip, nonetheless, and the girls were really good. Acadia slept the whole way! Thank goodness.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

43 Things

There is a website called (no longer a valid site) that is a forum for people to create a to do list of 43 things they aspire to achieve. I made my own list a couple of years ago and revisited it today to update and see where I stood. Here it is...

1. Learn to do a split again.
2. Take Ariana to a Broadway show.
3. Catch up on organizing my photos. DONE
4. Take a new photography class.
5. Do Yoga daily.
6. See my friends more. DONE
7. Volunteer. DONE
8. Read one book per month. (reading more, but maybe 1 every 2 months)
9. Hike (really hike) at least 4 times in a year.
10. Take a picture every day to represent a year in my life. (lofty goal, but I am taking a lot of pictures)
11. Build a 3 season porch.
12. Write more often (and not just “to do” lists).
13. See “Wicked- A New Musical” in Boston.
14. Find a hat that I look good in.
15. Create a large painting with my daughters.
16. See Marlie perform. DONE
17. Learn to Belly Dance.
18. Go to at least 2 concerts.
19. Visit 10 new places in New Hampshire.
20. Learn to be on time.
21. Take a family vacation. DONE
22. Get my teeth fixed & try that “No Pain Dentist”.
23. Start selling on ebay. (Changed my mind on this one.)
24. More trips to the Library with Ariana. DONE
25. Go sledding. DONE
26. Go down the Saco when it’s not raining. (was pregnant this year)
27. Find out the history of my house. (tried, no luck so far)
28. Send a postcard to Postsecret.
29. Harvest a successful vegetable garden this year.
30. Visit IKEA
31. Learn to live more eco-friendly (in process)
32. Get a rain barrel.
33. Excel at Trip Advisor. (lost that job, apparently didn't excel enough!)
34. Go on a weekend road trip in the spring/summer for photography
35. Create a piece of clothing I will actually wear.
36. Catch up on my daughters journals. (doing well at this)

Ok, there are only 36 things... but that is still a lofty list! I am still plugging away, but this list was created before baby #3, so.....

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


You have to check out this fun site. It has things that people have randomly found...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

When a Baby Smiles....

Testing Video Capabilities of Blogger

Ringling Brothers

Yesterday was Annika's celebration of her 3rd birthday, it was a few days early due to the fact Colby will not be here on her birthday. We were very fortunate to have our wonderful friends Joe & Danielle over (and of course adorable baby Josie). We all had cupcakes, opened a couple of gifts (note to self: J & D broke the cardinal rule of no loud gifts for children.... hmmm..... Christmas is coming) We all then headed off to the circus for a fantastic show!

Annika got to be a 'celebrity', complete with her 15 minutes of fame. She was allowed to go into the circus, riding in a clown car with a silly wig on her head! Can you imagine anything more fun for a 3 year old??? I have to admit, it brought tears to my eyes as I watched her out there... soooo cute! Acadia slept through most of the show and Ariana absolutely loved it. It was a first for all 3 of them. It was also a first for Colb, Danielle and Josie. I guess that I am fortunate that the circus used to come to Augusta when I was younger, so I actually saw the circus a few times as a kid. I think it might have been a Shriners, but I also have seem the Ringling Brothers/ Barnum & Bailey.

The show had all the key elements of the shows I saw as a kid (trapeze, elephants, tight wire, dog tricks, tigers, etc.) but the feel of the show is much different... it was very loud. It was also very.... busy. There was always more than one thing going on, it was hard to pick what to keep your eyes on. Colby kept asking Ariana & I if we had seen different things, and we had not. I think it shows how it is harder to keep children's attention than it used to be. They are so over-stimulated these days that they seem to bore easier. Although I can't really complain about it with my kids. They were perfectly happy to spend this afternoon outside making mudpies and collecting a bucket of acorns.

My Baby and I

Friday, October 3, 2008

Mobile Blogging

This is a test sent from my cell. If I can blog from here, I will be psyched!


Debate #2

Well, she didn't tank as expected. Fortunately for her, her expectations were set very low. I'd have to say that I prefer Palin's approach of not attacking the other side. I saw a stat where she only said Obama's name 16 times, whereas Biden said McCain's name 42 times. I would really prefer that all the candidates tell us what they are going to do, not what their opponent is going to do. Palin is probably well versed at this since we always drill into our children not to put others down to build yourself up.

Palin did slip into her rambling a few times where she just didn't make sense. But she always recovered with some sort of energy comment. I think she must have mentioned energy at least 42 times! But, hey, go with what you know, right?

I much preferred Biden's speaking style. He actually showed emotion, whether it be annoyance or laughter. He was emphatic on some points and very clear where he stood. He did not dance around points. He would give a clear answer and then repeat it. It is not often where a politician will give such clear answers and I liked that. Even if I didn't agree with all his opinions, I have a huge respect for someone willing to tell us their opinion. He also admitted at the end that he has had to change his stand on issues for the better of the people. I am willing to bet that every politician in our country has had to cave on some issue in their career for one reason or another. I find it hard to believe when Palin said that she has never had to (aside from budgets).

I think Biden proved to be honest, charismatic, funny, committed and a fairly well versed on the issues. I believe that Palin was evasive, stiff and just had a lack of general knowledge that extends beyond energy.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Instantaneous Happiness

From Real Simple magazine:

Being happier doesn’t have to be a long-term ambition. You can start right now. In the next 30 minutes, tackle as many of the following suggestions as possible. Not only will these tasks themselves increase your happiness, but the mere fact that you’ve achieved some concrete goals will boost your mood.

1. Raise your activity level to pump up your energy. If you’re on the phone, stand up and pace. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Put more energy into your voice. Take a brisk 10-minute walk. Even better…

2. Take a walk outside. Research suggests that light stimulates brain chemicals that improve mood. For an extra boost, get your sunlight first thing in the morning.

3. Reach out. Send an e-mail to a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or reach out to someone new. Having close bonds with other people is one of the most important keys to happiness. When you act in a friendly way, not only will others feel more friendly toward you, but you’ll also strengthen your feelings of friendliness for other people.

4. Rid yourself of a nagging task. Deal with that insurance problem, purchase something you need, or make that long-postponed appointment with the dentist. Crossing an irksome chore off your to-do list will give you a big rush of elation.

5. Create a more serene environment. Outer order contributes to inner peace, so spend some time cleaning off your desk and tackling the piles in the kitchen. A large stack of little tasks can feel overwhelming, but often just a few minutes of work can make a sizable dent. Set the timer for 10 minutes and see what you can do.

6. Do a good deed. Introduce two people by e-mail, take a minute to pass along useful information, or deliver some gratifying praise. In fact, you can also…

7. Save someone’s life. Sign up to be an organ donor, and remember to tell your family about your decision. “Do good, feel good” — it really works!

8. Act happy. Fake it 'til you feel it. Research shows that even an artificially induced smile boosts your mood. And if you’re smiling, other people will perceive you as being friendlier and more approachable.

9. Learn something new. Think of a subject that you wish you knew more about and spend 15 minutes on the Internet reading about it, or go to a bookstore and buy a book about it. But be honest! Pick a topic that really interests you, not something you think you "should" or "need" to learn about.

Some people worry that wanting to be happier is a selfish goal, but in fact, research shows that happier people are more sociable, likable, healthy, and productive — and they’re more inclined to help other people. By working to boost your own happiness, you’re making other people happier, too.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Unsolved Mystery

This is my great-grandmother, Emily. I think she is a beautiful woman & I love this picture of her. Unfortunately I never met her because she was murdered 30 years ago. Her case remains unsolved in a Maine State Police database.

My Life...

Ahhh, my life. What a life it is.

Yesterday I awoke as sick as possible, along with a very congested Acadia. We started our day well enough until Hurricane Annika took over. In the span of a few hours, she plugged an iron in and burned some pants, spilled a half gallon of milk all over my kitchen, opened all of her birthday gifts that were hidden in my closet, took out every toy she owns, yet didn't play with one, picked Cady up about 40 times... I could go on, but I won't.

Anyhow, Colby came home at around 10:30 so I could go to the doctor. All was well there so I came back home and Colby was back to work. It was a long trying afternoon with my little troublemaker and then Ariana bus was half and hour late getting her home (apparently, they had a little troublemaker aboard there also). We had to rush around madly to get both girls ready for dance, because now we were running behind. I got Ariana to dance on time and then ran with the other two over to Staples to drop some of my newborn baby stuff off to a friend (no need to keep this stuff anymore, this is definitely our LAST child!) We head back to the dance studio for Annika's class. Colby arrives soon after to relieve me so that I can attend a PTA meeting. The meeting runs long & I get home around 8:30. Colby immediately passes me Cady & I feed her. Colb shares the news... Annika has been kicked out of dance!!! We can't even pay someone to teach our child, she is so wild. Cindy told Colby that you couldn't pay her enough. (This woman has taught thousands of children for over 40 years!) Colby gets Ariana off to bed & takes Annika to read her a bedtime story. I carry Acadia into the kitchen & pick up the dinner mess as well as picking up as much as I can while holding a baby. I have decided to start Acadia on a schedule, so around 9, I put her to bed. She cries for 15 minutes as I research some stuff on the computer for my new PTA task. I get her up and rock her to sleep, back to bed she goes. I get back on the computer to research a curriculum to start working on with Annika. Acadia is back up at 10:30, Colby heads to bed and I get back to sleep at midnight.

In the end, Colby and I have found a solution for the chaos... we are going to become drunks and drown it all out!

Monday, September 29, 2008


A little odd to hear my daughter walking around the house singing...

And we were trying different things
We were smoking funny things
Making love out by the lake to our favorite song
Sipping whiskey out the bottle, not thinking 'bout tomorrow
Singing Sweet home Alabama all summer long

Also awkward....

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry chap stick
I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don't mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don't mean I'm in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

What happened to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star????

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Give Me A Break

Well, in my humble opinion, there was no real winner in last nights debate. I am a huge proponent of getting all the facts before I vote, which is why I watch debates. Unfortunately, last night, neither man would earn my vote. I just hate politics altogether. I can't understand how two people who want to run our democracy can have such polar opposite views on most every topic. Don't most Americans want similar things out of life?

It is so crazy how these two can just sit there & put words in each others mouths. Obama would state his opinion on a subject and then McCain would tell him he didn't really feel that way. How can you tell another person how they think? They spent a majority of the debate telling us how the other person thought & felt. It left me more confused than when it started.

I do have to say that Obama won by a landslide on personality. He engaged the moderator, the audience & even McCain. McCain was just a socially inept, creepy, smirking old man. He didn't even look towards Obama when he was taking to him. And when Obama was addressing him and looking directly at him, McCain would look down with this eerie sneer on his face. I would definitely want Obama to be the person we put out there to negotiate & interact with people.

Can't wait for the Vice Presidential debate, hopefully there will be less finger pointing and more revelations of where they actually stand on the issues.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Apple Pickin', Pumpkins & Tractor Rides

These girls have a third generation friendship. Their grandparents were friends, their fathers grew up as great friends and now they continue the tradition. They don't live right near each other, which makes the friendship all the better (absence makes the heart grow fonder!) But each weekend they are begging to see each other, and they get along wonderfully. They can have fun whether they are on vacation with their dull parents or simply singing Hannah Montana in the basement. One is a dancer while the other is an accomplished swimmer; one loves to read, the other, not so much; one is overbearing, the other sensitive; they are different in so many ways, yet they love each other for it.

Last weekend we all went to a farm in Lee for apple picking, pumpkin picking & tractor rides. We spent a good portion of the day there, playing on the playground, having a picnic and enjoying the last day of summer. It was a beautiful day, which makes the end of the season that much sadder. I just hope our winter is not quite as long this year.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More on Politics

I read an interesting article today that reported that 40% of white Americans hold at least one negative notion about black people. This will make a considerable difference in the upcoming election.

I can only hope my daughters' world is kinder than mine.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Eyes Have It

This is Acadia's eye with the 3/4 brown & 1/4 grey. It is so odd, I don't remember this happening with the other 2....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Blog over Coffee

Ok, I have a quick minute while I drink my morning java to give an update of the week.

• Acadia started to eat solid foods in the form of a goldfish fed to her by Annika. (Wait, let me clarify for those of you without a pantry full of toddler snacks... that is a goldfish cracker, not one from a fish bowl!)

• Ariana lost another tooth, on the top next to her front teeth. She now has the classic buck-tooth smile and we can see she is destined for braces.

• Found out my father is quite ill yet still going to work 6 days a week. It's that stereotypical downeast work ethic of a shipyard union worker. It is a really sad life... never going on a vacation, never stopping to smell the roses, never enjoying life for what it really is. I do need to make the trek to Maine to see him and introduce him to 2 granddaughters he has never met.

•Colby & I went to a wedding yesterday. It was the first time I was away from Acadia for more than a couple of hours & the first time she had a sitter. We had a good time, lots of laughs, some at the expense of the wedding guest who clearly had too much to drink from the flask he brought into the wedding. Also lots of laughs with Colb's coworker who is 60ish years old and has lived through the tribulations of 3 daughters of his own.

• This was our first full week of soccer, dance classes and me going back to both jobs full swing. We quickly decided I would need to change my schedule around as I was up until midnight or later working on TripAdvisor and Colby was up until 2am writing a paper for school. We also only got to sit down to 2 meals all week as a whole family... not acceptable. I rearranged my schedule at work and we will try it out in 2 weeks, hopefully a better arrangement for all of us to spend time together and get to bed at a reasonable hour!

Ok, I need to get myself & the girls ready for a trip to the farm for apple picking & hayrides. Hopefully I can survive 3 against 1. Although I am going with Leslie & Lori and I know they will step in and help if I need it.