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!