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.....