Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Ease of Recycling...Once Again!

Despite the usual lack of sleep I get (two toddlers) lately I have still been having some pretty memorable and interesting dreams. The other night I dreamt about having to make my way through an entire staff of school officials to get the information I needed about recycling a stack of papers. When someone finally gave me the correct information about the recycling BUS (yes, a bus) I watched as it passed me by and continued driving away off into the distance. Not too far off from the frustration I used to feel living in middle GA where if you brought your own bags to the grocery store people assumed you were going to shop lift (a cashier once told me this) and recycling was still a thing of the future.

It is so exciting to once again live in a community where recycling is a given, bringing your own bags is encouraged and green living is the norm, not the exception. I will tell you this though- my experience in GA taught me a great deal about living creatively green. Buying in bulk so as to use less material, being more aware of products I brought into my home, and re-using more often are among the many different changes I enacted so my family could still make a difference.

With 2009 right around the corner, I pledge to continue making more of a difference in my green living...what changes are you thinking of making?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

A wonderful Christmas.....really, I swear! It was so great to be in our new house for the holiday, and especially wonderful to have some of our family here to celebrate with us. Nate got his bike and all kinds of pirate gear, Jules got her kitchen, I got Coach, and Pete and I got a new camera! Trust me, you'll be seeing a lot more photos around here...Hope everyone's Christmas was magical, full of love and memorable.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Joyful Season!

Wow, this holiday season in particular is leaving me drained, feeling guilty and a tad bit frustrated. Drained, because I am still unpacking, trying to organize the new house, hand curtains and paintings, do the laundry, grocery shop, bath and feed the kids, spend quality time with them, and prep for Christmas and a few guests who'll be staying here for Christmas....

I'm feeling guilty because I hate spending money on frivolous items for significant people and of course with all that is going on that seems to be what I am doing.

And of course that also leads me to the frustrated part...every year, I swear things will be different. I promise myself I will start thinking of thoughtful, meaningful and sensible gifts for the next Christmas as soon as this one is over. But alas, I just can't seem to learn my lesson. So each year I panic the week before Christmas and find myself waking up in the middle of the night wondering if my sister has already read that bestseller I just bought her?

The other issue on my mind is the amount of material goods we all feel so pressured to buy this time of year...it's insane! After spending about two hours opening up gifts last year, my family decided that things were getting out of control...granted there were 10 of us and 2 of them were the kids, but really, 30+year-old siblings do not need to give each other 10 presents! So hopefully, things will be a little more subdued around here. As my children get older I hope they learn by example that the holiday season is not just about getting, it is about giving as well. And this doesn't mean having to spend money on frivolous items...I am starting to realize that giving of time is one of the most treasured gifts anyone can give or receive.

I hope you are all staying stress free right now and enjoying the holiday in the way it is meant to be enjoyed...with your families and friends...not in long lines at the mall!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What a difference!

The view of our backyard here in SC (a few weeks ago)....

And, the view of our backyard in GA afew years ago....

Despite having to rake up loads of leaves, I am soooo happy to be rid of PINE TREES!!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Ups and Downs of Our Move

The ups and downs of moving into a new house....

1. Down: Having the movers show up at your old house and tell you that they can't come back the next day to complete the 2-day job, so they will have to pack and load everything in one day. Sorry if we'll still be packing and loading at 2 a.m....

ups: at least they left you bedding in which they agreed to pick up in the morning....

2. Having your husband away on business during the whole move process...

ups: at least he was able to get a new job and a salary increase in this drowning economy....

3. Down: Having to entertain two children in a house after the movers have already packed up their toys...

ups: having two amazing friends who were available to help me with them....

4. Forgetting that the moving company will not pack any cleaning supplies, flammable materials, including candles, gasoline and propane tanks, paint, art supplies, hairspray, bug spray, wasp spray...or anything else that could combust spontaneously while they are driving your home goods to the storage unit...Hummm, okay, I need to drive all of these things in the back of my SUV with two children in the car?

Ups: not really sure there is one?

5. Down: Once in our temporary apartment, having to take two large dogs out on leashes 500 times a day, when they used to an acre of fenced in back yard in which to roam free.

ups: They will once again experience the joy of a large fenced in yard...

6. Down: Having to take two large dogs out on leashes 500 times a day with two small children in tow (who want to run in opposite directions!) and having to pick up doggie poop at the same time.

ups: At least the apartment allowed pets...

7. Down: Yes, they allowed pets, but of course for a non refundable $300 deposit...for the four weeks we were there!

7. Down: Having to drive 35 minutes away to drop off and pick up your son at his new preschool...

ups: at least he got into one of the best schools in town half way through the year....

8. Finding out that the realtor representing the purchasers of your old home, stole a key to your home, let strangers into your home against your wishes, allowed them to do work on your home (while you still owned it), and then gave permission to the purchasers to move in BEFORE the closing...humpf....Contacting the BBB and filing a police report...!!!!

ups: Still haven't thought of one yet....No, wait, we sold our house within a two month period in a down housing economy...for a profit!

9. Finally seeing move in day to the new house only to discover that there are several, no, many, no a LOT of damaged items, and on top of that, the movers are in a really, really bad and unfriendly mood.

ups: We finally moved into our new and amazing house!!! I am so beyond thrilled and humbled to live here!

10. Having a water pipe in one of the bathrooms burst open at full force, sending tons of gallons of water massively swimming onto our floor and down into our heating/air ducts.....Thank God for neighbors who know where the water shut off valves are on your lawn and professionals who are available to come over on a Friday night and get the job done.

ups: Thank God for our being able to have water coming into our house in the first place! You never appreciate it until you have to go without it for a few hours....

these are just a few of the crazy situations we faced in our moving process. Overall, it has been worth it though! We love living outside of Columbia and are thrilled to be back in a community that offers so much diversity, culture and possibility....hopefully we won't have to do it again for at least another 20 years....

Friday, December 5, 2008

Homeless Juliana

My little homeless girl taking a nap in box!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

All Moved In!!!

I am so ashamed that I haven't posted in so long!!! We are finally in our new house in SC and with the exception of a few bumps in the road, all is going smooth so far. We LOVE the house, LOVE the community and LOVE having access to so much nearby!

Nate attends preschool twice a week and has adjusted very well. Juliana is also doing well and loves climbing up and down our staircase! We've been busy unpacking, buying a few new pieces of furniture as well as appliances, and getting acquainted with the neighborhood and community.

I'll try and post some pictures later and now that the dust is settling- I'll be posting more often, I promise!!!

Thanks for sticking with me!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Let Your Voice Be Heard!

Happy election day everyone!!! Let YOUR VOICE be heard!!!!

I am so excited that this day is here, as I know many of you are as well! I am sure that this day will provide many ups and downs, twists and turns and surprises for us all, but hopefully, we will all be okay with whatever decision the American people make at the end of the day.

So we are officially moved out of Georgia! It was an exhausting few days going back to Dudley by myself with two dogs and two small children, but overall things went smooth. I give an incredible thanks to my dear friends, Alice and Ruby who in the eleventh hour provided an amazing show of support by taking my two cranky and bored children out for a fun evening of trick or treating and dinner. Their lending a helping hand in my final GA hours was a true testament to their incredible friendship. I am so thankful for them and for their presence in my life!

Although the days are still filled with last minute details and phone calls in preparation for the upcoming closings of our old house and the new one as well, we are managing and trying our best to take advantage of living someplace so cool! Pete is still traveling and will be back on friday! I had such a wonderful day with my two little ones on Sunday. We attended our new Catholic Church in Lexington and met lots of wonderful people. Afterward, we made a special stop at the coolest little donut place and explored our new hometown before heading a half hour away back to our apartment in Elgin.

One of the aspects of life I missed so much living in Dudley was the absence of diversity and different culture. So isn't it interesting that on one side of our apartment lives a young Indian couple and on the other side a woman who just moved here from Germany! The Indian couple had their first baby last week and I am so happy that I was able to be here and befriend them during such an amazing time in their lives. In addition, the young woman's parents are here visiting from India for a few months, so I am really getting a fair share of culture! In fact, tonight we are making a potluck dinner. I am making and bringing my first Indian dish- Rice Biryani. Wish me luck!

So today, on such an important and historic day for our country, I am thankful for the tremendous diversity and freedom we are able to celebrate. Whether it be in celebration of the first black president or the first female vice-president, we need to honor the fact that we live in a country that first exposes us to such growth, and second allows us to expand that growth with our freedom to choose. Go and let your voice be heard and encourage everyone you know to do the same today!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We're off to Dudley GA for ONE last time!

Jules is doing much better today, and it's a good thing, because we have to spend a few hours in the car. We're off to Georgia for our final few days in the house. Movers will be there tomorrow to pack everything up and deliver it to a storage facility for a few weeks. Incredibly, they will also take it out of storage and move it all into our new house in November! What an unbelievable relief and great fortune to not have to do all the packing, transporting and moving ourselves!

Six days to go until election and I am happy to say that while in Dublin today, I will go and cast my ballot for Barack Obama!

I'll be back on Friday and will post again then. Enjoy the rest of your week!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ups and Downs

Just when we thought our family was together for the long haul once again...Pete was informed yesterday that he must pack up and head out to Missouri AGAIN for two more weeks...starting today! Good thing we are slightly used to the drill.

Juliana had a tough night last night. Around 2 am, I woke up as she was trying to crawl into bed with us. She fell out somehow and hit her ear on the corner of our nightstand. I didn't realize just how bad it was until I took her into the bathroom to take a look and I saw the blood all over my pajamas and her hair. I thought it was coming from her head at first- so pretty scary, but it turns out she got a pretty good gash along the crease in the cartilage of her outer ear. It didn't go all of the way through, or we would have taken her to the ER. I know they wouldn't have been able to give her stitches the way it is. After we tried to get her cleaned up, we settled her down with her favorite Backyardigans stories and she fell back to sleep. She woke up this morning telling Nate all about how she got hurt and her 'boo boo.' I think it will heal okay, she may have a bit of scaring though...It was tough for me too, I don't handle blood all that well apparently. While trying to clean her off and get a feel for how bad it was, I got really sweaty and clammy and started blacking out...I had to sit down as I felt like I was going to faint!

So we are once again on our own without Pete. At least we have a "Back to Georgia Trip" (to be there for the movers) planned for three days this week to help distract the kids. And yippee for the dogs, after being cooped up in a tiny apartment, they get to run around all they want in our big backyard for a few days!

By the way, I mistakenly left the cord needed to download photos to the computer in GA, so that is why my poor blog has been picture-less...hope you're all well!

Love, Kate

Monday, October 27, 2008

Eight Days to Go!

We had so much fun this weekend!!! We had a great time visiting with some friends (Liz from Infectious Chatter and her family) we hadn't seen a a long, long time! After a wonderful day at Columbia's Riverbank Zoo, and dinner together, it was hard to say goodbye. Our children had a so much fun- isn't it wonderful how children can meet for the first time and instantly become buds? Anyway, might I add ONE more time how good it feels to be somewhere again where the heartbeat of life pulsates all around you. I really do feel as though I am waking up my senses and my motivations.

On a political note- only eight days away from electing our next President!

I will not go into any in depth analysis, I will leave that to my dear friend over at the current events corner (she really does do her research). I may have strayed from mentioning my political motivations in the past, okay, maybe not so much, but as some of your may know I am a supporter of Barack Obama. I have become more and more pleased with his goals and ideas regarding the desperately needed new direction for our country's government. I don't stick my neck out too often to try and persuade people one way or another, because I am not big into debating. So, I will not do that here either. However, if there is anyone person out there whom I can try and persuade to vote for Obama over McCain, please let me know and I will put in a call to you!!!!!

On a note of running mates, I read this morning that even Alaska's Anchorage Daily News, the largest newspaper in Palin's securely Republican state of Alaska, has chosen to endorse Obama, stating that Palin is simply "too risky" to be one step away from the Oval Office.

Interesting. Very interesting.
More for you later!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Back to Living

Wow, it really has been a LONG time since I last posted! So much has been going on and we have been accomplishing so much as well!

We are finally in SC, and here for good! Over the past two weeks, we've been tying up all of the loose ends that come along with selling an old home and purchasing a new one- inspections, mortgages and deeds...and of course all of the other fun things like exploring new turf, getting to shop again, and starting Nate at a new school! It feels so good to be back in a diverse community with a broad range of culture, outdoor recreation, shopping, children's activities, and complexity of beliefs and lifestyle! I feel so blessed to have experienced living in so many different types of communities in my lifetime (I have lived in 11 states and can't even count how many times I've moved) and as a result, I now feel that I can and will truly appreciate what Columbia and it's surrounding areas have to offer.

Although the Dublin, GA area is the place where our children were born and our family extended, it simply could not meet our personal aspirations and the desire for enrichment our family thrives upon. With that said, I am however, thankful for the friendships that were developed and despite some distance, hope they will continue to grow over time.

So, now that some dust has settled, I aim to get back to my long neglected blog, and hopefully haven't lost too many of you! Let's get back to living!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

So Long Georgia.....

I'm feeling good today and finally feeling like things are falling in place with our transition to SC. Pete has been home for the weekend after being gone for two weeks, and it has been nice to relax at home with the kids and plan for our new home and community. Now that a lot of the stress has passed, I am getting so excited again! Pete heads to Atlanta tonight for a week long training session there. The kids and I will stay here until Wednesday and then head up there to spend two nights with him. After that, we're off to Columbia SC to our new temporary abode!

Adios Dudley, GA! .....Now if we can only find the right house and buy it!!!

In the meanwhile, it has been fun to follow our future engineer/rocket builder Nate around as he creates his fascinating machines!!

Hope your week begins well!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Finding Inspiration

In figuring out what to post today, I decided to take a quick peak at some of my friend's blogs and I realized (for the hundredth time) how incredible and amazing they are! I am at such a pivotal place in life, emotions swirling all around me...so I am going to stop there and highlight some of the places I go to get a quick lift, sense of encouragement, inspiration and yes, even a good old laugh sometimes....

Infectious Chatter


Of Boys and Critters

Have fun checking them out if you don't already and please share with me some of the blogs and sites that help to lift you up when you need it most!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Putting Kate Back Together Again

I have had a tough past week...but I am better! I am motivated and inspired to get back into gear and stay focused on the end result here-moving our family to a community better suited for us.

I have been doing some real soul searching as well and am continually coming back to the notion that in order to be a better mother to my children, I need to be better to myself as a person.

I have come to the realization that I don't handle certain types of stress well and in the future, I need to do things a lot differently. I have realized that I have been doing some things horribly wrong and my health and general well being have taken the brunt of it. In figuring out all of this, I am taking some time (whenever I can!) to try and come up with a better plan for me as an individual. Unfortunately, it has taken falling apart to understand that some big changes need to be made. I guess that is usually how it works.

Some of the best advice my mother ever gave me about motherhood involves the safety procedure for passengers on a crashing airplane. The flight attendant explains to us that in order to better help our children, we need to first put the oxygen mask on ourselves, and then assist them. If we cannot breath properly, we cannot help them to do so either.... this is where I have faltered greatly in the past weeks. I have not taken proper care of myself and it has hindered me from being the kind of mother I want and need to be.

Anyway, now that things are coming to a slower pace around here, I aim to begin establishing some new goals and methods of getting things accomplished. I begin by making a list of 10 things that I can do in under 10 minutes that will help me to relax and breath right again....

1. read a chapter of a book
2. watch HGTV or The Food Network channel
3. play with the kids outside
4. read my friend's blogs
5. bake something (obviously this may take longer!)
6. play with the dogs
7. have a glass of wine (sorry- I had to put it down!)
8. paint- not walls
9. work in the garden
10. dance with the kids to some music

That was easier than I thought it would be! What do you to relax and to take better care of yourself? Any other suggestions for me? Thanks!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Missing Daddy

Once again, we are off to Columbia SC to have a second look at some of the houses we looked at last week. I am excited that this is all coming together so quickly and I hope things will continue to progress in the same smooth manner!

Pete's latest departure has really taken it's toll on Nate. Every day Nate tells me that he is going to work and that he will be gone for a while. He says he'll miss me but that he will call me on the computer every night (we do Skype with Pete)! It is so sad! And then, a few times now he has attempted to pack up all of his belongings (and I do mean all of them including clothes and blankets from the bed) and he says he needs to put them into Daddy's truck!

Oh, I can't wait until this is all over!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Becoming a Better Person (in the midst of craziness!)

The last few days have been a whirlwind of phone calls, appointments and errands and crossing this and that of of an ever growing list. The relocation process of our family from one state to another has hit high gear and we are in constant motion trying to make it all occur smoothly. I feel good about most things, especially how incredibly fortunate we are to have our house have sold in just four weeks on the market! Before getting into our next house however, it looks like we will have to spend some time in transition in an apartment in SC. We have a few houses in mind to buy, but I can't see that it will happen in the timing in which we need to go directly from one house to another.

In the midst of the craziness, I have been trying my best to eat, sleep and be a patient (single) mom (Pete is out of town again for two weeks). I have done my best to stay current with the ever stunning ups and downs on wall street and decision making in Congress- which just for the record, I am in full agreement of their rejection of the $700 billion (fat cat) bailout...I truly believe that there are a tremendous amount of incredibly intelligent people in Washington, most of whom we, the people of this country, placed in their positions. They must be able to come up with an alternative solution that will help jump start our economy without having to keep the pockets of wealthy wall street tycoons stuffed. Okay, I had my say about that! I'll keep moving in my original direction...

While waiting to see the doctor at one of the appointments I had earlier this week, I noticed Juliana (yes, I had to bring both kids with me, ugh!) needed a new diaper (in a bad way). So, we grabbed all of our belongings, and hand in hand, all three of us headed back out to the car so as not to make those in the waiting area suffer through what I knew would be pretty ugly. I opened up the hatch door of the back of the Pilot and loaded everyone and everything inside. As I struggled to remove the pants of an incredibly squirmy baby, I noticed a man walk by. Although he kept heading in the direction away from me, he walked slow and caught my attention. I then returned my focus to the diaper situation in front of me. A moment later however, there he was again, standing at my side, asking if he could bother me for a minute. As he began talking, I struggled to hear him as I tried to keep Nate from swinging from the side of the car and Juliana from kicking the wipes out of my hand.

"Excuse me," I asked him.
"Can I bother you for a minute?" he asked again.
"What is it sir?" I responded.
He studdered and had paused a moment before what appeared to be a huge effort to express his collected thoughts.
"I'm temporarily homeless and I wonder if you can spare any money to help me out," he asked while looking at the ground.
He wore jeans, clean white sneakers, a polo shirt and a baseball cap. His hair was short and he was shaven. He didn't look as though he'd just lost a $200,000 house, but he certainly didn't appear to have been homeless for very long.
"I'm sorry," I said shaking my head, "my family is on a pretty tight budget right now, I wish I could help you, but...."
He began walking away, very fast this time, and while I got back to giving my baby a clean diaper and restraining my toddler from jumping into the parking lot, I couldn't help but regret my decision to not help this man. I'm not a big fan of just handing out cash to the homeless, but something seemed different about this guy.

It seemed so hard for him to approach me and I could see the humiliation in his eyes at having to ask a stranger for financial help. Despite the fact that, yes, we really are on a budget right now, most families are now a days, but I know I had spare change in the car and at least a dollar bill in my purse somewhere. I could have spared that at least to help make his situation a little less uncomfortable. Since then, he has entered my thoughts many times this week and I have decided that community involvement needs to be a priority once again in my family's lives when we get to SC. I saw a quote the other day that read, "To better the world, improve yourself."

Simple as that.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tainted milk powder, what next?

We are off to Columbia SC today to visit with Pete and look at some houses...Yeah!

Is anyone else as appalled at this whole Chinese tainted milk powder incident as I am am? I am stunned at how a government could allow more than 50,000 children to get sick under it's nose....

About two years ago when it seemed that everything coming out of China was tainted or being recalled for something, Pete and I made a conscious decision to try and not bring products made in China into our home. Crazy! Because it seems that now a days, everything is made in China! Anyhow, at least it has allowed us to be more conscious of what we do bring into the house and what we allow the kids to play with and eat.

I only hope that if the thousands of other recalls and tainted products produced by the Chinese over the years hasn't alarmed and stunned the rest of the world into banning their products, perhaps this one will....

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kids Cooking

Oh, I know, I've been such a slacker...here at least. The rest of my life has been in constant motion, one thing after the other for weeks now. Pete's visit home this weekend was great, but too brief. It is going to be hard for the kids to wake up this morning and see that he is gone...

On Friday we made some of Pete's favorite pasta sauce as a welcome home surprise....we had so much fun! I have really been loving getting the kids involved in my cooking. I am secretly hoping that it will influence Nate to try more foods.

And just for kicks, here is Juliana's new favorite thing to do....

Yes, that is my baby walking around with a her blankie over her head. She just wanders the house like that. Sometimes, she bumps into things (oh, come on! I keep a close eye on her!) but mostly she knows her way around...she's so funny!

Hope you all have a great day,

Love, Kate

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What's A Mom to do?

A desperate call to all mothers!!!!!! PLEASE HELP!

This was the scene as my 3-year-old left it a little while ago...a common occurrence around here these days. He eats next to nothing. In fact, I can probably list the things he'll eat on five fingers- here goes- eggs, peanut butter and jam, chicken nuggets, grape tomato's, hummm, this is tough- let's see, what else-oh cheese, of course! He is a huge cheese fan. And sometimes Ritz (whole wheat) crackers. Oh, and popcorn. Yup, that's about it. I have gone through almost every phase of what to do now? Cry- yup, lots of that. Tell him too bad, this is what's for dinner and if you don't eat it, oh well, nothing else. We've tried- you can have a brownie for dessert! Oh, yeah, I forgot to add brownie to the list (okay, okay, so it's more than five things, but you get the picture). And then I even tried my mom's suggestion of putting Splenda on the broccoli...it actually had the opposite effect- I told him if he ate it he could go outside and play and finally he told me he wanted one without the sugar on it....go figure.
Yes, we have played some pretty desperate games around here. And finally, as of late, I have given up the power struggle. And just continually give him new things and don't make a fuss about it...but then he doesn't eat them and later he's hungry and I am back in square one- do I send the poor boy to bed hungry or do I make him another peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

And then this is his sister...just gobbling most anything down.

Although lately, she is starting to show symptoms of her brother's behavior.....oh what to do, really, help a girl out, will you!!!!!!????

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So Long Suffocating Heat!

Yipppppiiieeeeeee!!!!! The 90-100 degree weather is finally subsiding here in middle GA. This past weekend we all almost melted during a visit to the playground. You would think that as long as anyone was building a park anywhere in the South shade trees would be a HUGE part of the building plans...but not usually the case... anyway, I am so thrilled to be able to take the kids outside during normal day time hours rather then just in the early am and evenings!

And just for fun, is it just me, or does something seem off in this picture?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Getting Things Done!

We spent the weekend in Savannah visiting my sister and her husband. It was great to get away from the house and be with other people to distract the kid's from Pete's absence. We had so much fun! We went to a Green Festival on Saturday and to a wine and food tasting event on Saturday evening. Some of Savannah's best restaurants were there, so the food was amazing! Even the kids had a great time!

I spent what is supposed to be my "thesis time" this morning mowing the front and back lawn. Both kids are in school and yes, sadly, it took the entire morning to do the whole acre and a half! It was fun to ride on John Deere though, and thankfully, the weather wasn't too hot yet. And now, sigh...it's done! At least until next week...

I swear, I am not a country bumpkin, just someone who needs to get things done while hubby is gone...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Small Prayers Answered

With many deep breaths and an inner push toward more patience, yesterday proved to be a whole lot happier for myself and the kids. In fact, it also provided me with a much needed break! I was stunned to see both of my children fall asleep at the same time yesterday afternoon for about an hour or so. Nate, who hasn't taken a nap in weeks, was the first to go, and fell asleep while reading on the couch. After carrying him into his room and tucking him into his bed, I came back into the kitchen to find poor little Juliana laying on the floor sound asleep on top of her blanket! So, I carried her too, into her room and walked back into the living room, not really knowing what to do with myself!

So, I sat down at the computer, listened to the silence, thought about what I most wanted to do, and created a new blog- A Mother's Shade of Green. Everyone needs to acknowledge their role and responsibility in today's efforts toward helping to heal and recover the damage done to our environment. However, mother's have a bit more responsibility. Having made the conscious decision to bring our children into this world, we owe it to them and to the world in which they live, to make the challenges they'll face less difficult. So, we do what we can. We make every effort possible to make things easier for them, to educate them and to lead by example.

For me, I aim to do just this by making changes toward greener living in our own household, and by teaching them that this way of living is not a choice, but a necessity.

I hope you'll check out A Mother's Shade of Green ( http://mothersshadeofgreen.blogspot.com/) often and pass along the link to anyone you think might be interested in reading it.

Thanks for your support! Kate

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Facing Challenge

First, let me recognize the day and add my rememberance and grief to those families who lost loved ones. Thank you for their sacrifice....

It has been a challenging week with Pete away. I am feeling very worn out and in need of some major encouragement! With Jules being sick for a few days, the poor babe was as grumpy as I have every seen her, which meant hours upon endless hours of crying and just plain unhappiness. It is the worst feeling to not be able to help make your baby feel better...And it has been a tough time for me not having ANY time to myself at all. I really am not trying to complain, I love spending every moment with my children, but even I need to shower here and there! We are awake and asleep at the same times and now Juliana won't even sit in front of the TV for a few minutes-she just wants to be where mama is!

In the midst of our chaotic week, we had a realtor open house yesterday where all Realtors in the area were invited to come and tour our home. I hope that it helps them to gear some of their customers our way! It was tough though, because on top of everything else going on, I spent a day and a half getting this house in top form. At least now, I think it will be easier to maintain for anyone wanting to see it.

I have also been feeling guilty about a lack of green living focus. I want it to be a top priority for me, and for our family, but I have so much work to do to get us there.
Yesterday I realized that I am a Zip lock bag junkie! And it occured to me that they are just as bad as the plastic supermarket bags that I have denounced and disowned from my life.

I scanned the Internet (with Jules on my lap) looking for a "Green" living/moms/blog/site/etc... web site for Columbia SC and came up with nothing....so I am thinking that when I move there I will start one.

I need to make this green living goal, more than ambition. I need to make it a journey, and more importantly, A WAY OF LIFE for us. For them:

Thanks for listening to my vent and I hope you are all doing well!
Love, Kate

Monday, September 8, 2008

Home Alone!

WOW! I just dropped off BOTH kids at preschool....I didn't think it woud be so difficult leaving Juliana- only because she is a lot more independent and far less needy than Nate was at her age. She will do fine, and so will I- it is only one morning a week.

Now I am off to try and work on my poor neglected thesis!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Raising Funds for Schools

So, obviously my kids aren't even close to being educationally raised by the local public school system yet. In fact, as of right now, they receive most of their aptitude from me...what a responsibility! Anyway, when they finally are old enough to attend school I sure hope they are not subjected to having to go door to door in order to to raise funds for school sports and textbooks! Yesterday afternoon, one of our neighbor's daughters showed up doing just that! The poor girl looked so nervous as she handed me a piece of paper and explained that her school was raising money and asked if I would like to buy a case of Coca-Cola products. Yikes! She stood dressed in her cheer leading uniform, so I asked is this to raise money for cheer leading? No, no. She responded. "It's just for my school." Okay. Aside from having a problem with the school system sending it's youth door to door to raise money on it's behalf, we don't drink soda, lemon aid or fruit punch. "Oh, but there's bottled water," she objected. Right. I'm sorry, I have a huge issue with purchasing plastic bottles, I tell her. I just can't do it. So, I send her off with a $10 donation and begin to ponder the craziness of it all....
JUST A NOTE: I don't want to come off as someone who doesn't appreciate the fact that our public school systems often need the community's financial support- I just don't think that sending 10-year-olds door to door asking for donations is the way to do it. Also- we do drink our share of lemonaid every so often, just not the kind that is manufactured in mini plastic bottles!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Vivid Dreams!

I woke up this morning fresh from a fairly decent night's sleep (which is unusual around here these days) and immediately felt a sense of great relief and then an overwhelming fear! As I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes I recalled two very vivid dreams that I had had- one in which we sold our house! Obviosuly the relief, and the second dream- I was pregnant! Kind of crazy....I'm not sure if I could do it again!

Anyway, I am off to make my most favorite lemon squares (I'll try and post the recipe later!) as the dessert portion of dinner I am making for a friend who had a baby a few weeks ago. When I asked her a few days ago if pot roast sounded good, she paused and said, "Kate, we've had it three times in the last two weeks!" At least she was honest! I opted for stuffed pork chops made with apple and bread stuffing and steamed green beans. I always like to throw in some muffins too for the next morning. I remember between the hour long nursing sessions with both of my babies and trying to get everything else taken care of in the morning, breakfast didn't hit my stomach until 10 am! Anway...Hope you are all having a wonderful day!

Love, Kate

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hump Day Headache

Ohhhhh, my head is spinning! What a day...To get an idea of what kind of a day it has been I just need to fill you in on the half hour here- After being in the laundry room for about 5 minutes, I walk into the kitchen to hear all sorts of snickering and crazy noises coming from the pantry. What did find when I opened the door? Two smiling toddlers looking up at me from a top a huge pile of pretzels, dried macaroni and rice cakes!!!!! FIVE MINUTES I was gone! And an entire (new) bag of pretzels, box of macaroni and rice cakes are opened, dumped out and crushed.

To make matters worse, Juliana refused to nap (at all), and Nate has been to time out at least four times for not listening to me....

Yes, it is already destined to be a tall glass of wine night...now the question is red or white?

On lighter news, Nate had his first day of school today! I think all went well, he seemed content when I picked him up and was excited to tell me about some of the kids he remembered from last year.

I am really stressing out about our current situation. I am so afraid of having to be stuck in a tiny apartment in Columbia with two kids and two (big) dogs, who are used to having an acre of backyard to roam about freely. I am afraid that I won't find a (decent) preschool for Nate in SC that has availability in November. I am afraid that after two days of being a single parent, I have already realized that it may be sooner then later that I loose my sanity. You see, my (beloved) children go to bed at the same time as me and rise at the same time as me, therefore resulting in no "down" time for me, that is of course unless I plop the poor things down in front of the cursed TV (which is where they are now). Ugh, we were doing so well with so little TV watching too....

I guess I am just at a point where I have to choose my battles. And yes, yes, I know, tomorrow is a new day and life will go on and all will be well....

In the meantime, at least some of us around here get to relax....

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Heading In A New Direction

As September begins, the air around here is filled with a new sense of direction. Strangely, there was a cool breeze blowing this morning as the kids swung on their swings and I thought about life here in Dudley, GA without my other half. Pete left yesterday to begin his new job in Columbia, SC. So, today is strewn with a tinge of sadness, but also a feeling of relief that this whole process has finally begun! I know I shouldn't be so sad, we'll see him again on Friday and he'll be back for the weekend. But then after that he will most likely be gone for two weeks of training in Missouri! And then back in Columbia for a week and Missouri for two and same thing again the following three weeks for a grand total of six weeks in Missouri.

We decided that if the house doesn't sell by November 1st, (which is a long shot) then the kids, dogs and I will pack up our things and we'll all get an apartment together in Columbia. At least there is a bit of an end in sight. So much to do, so much to plan!

On a happier note, Nate starts school tomorrow! I am so excited for him, as he really does enjoy going. It will be nice to have some one on one time with Jules too.

So that is it for now, I'll be back again soon!

Love, Kate

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Time Away from Reality

So here I sit, margarita in hand, thinking about how quickly this week has flown by...vacations always do, don't they? The Outer Banks have been very, very kind to us. It has been heavenly to have this week between Pete's last day at Parker and the start of his new job in Columbia on September 2nd. We have hardly thought about the time we'll have to be apart and the tough transition ahead of us...of course until just now, as I couldn't help but bring it up as I touch base with reality online! Anyway, it has been great to spend with our family, and just try (try as hard as one can with two toddlers) to relax....

I am sure things will get interesting around here over the next few months, so stay posted to my musings and the adventure that the Agliata's are about to endure...I promise if nothing else, it will be entertaining!!!

Hope you are all well and enjoying the last few weeks of summer...

Love, Kate

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Heading to the Outer Banks!

What a frustrating morning! I went to get two pints of paint made, somewhere where I should have known better to go, and an hour and ten minutes later, had a LIST of problems that had occured with the ***** paint guys making my paint. They were actually the most absurd things too- just an example- they didn't put the lid of the can on tight enough and when I put it on the bottom of my cart, it fell over, opening up and spilling paint everywhere!

Okay, enough complaining...I will never ever shop at WAL-MART again!!! I vow to you all right now!

Moving on, I want to send out a HUGE congratulations to my dear friend, Jennifer, who had her second baby boy, Ty, this past weekend. Every one is doing well and wow, he is a beautiful baby!!!

Not much else to write today, I need to pack up our things and get the car loaded up for our long journey to the Outer Banks in NC tomorrow... I will try and post while there, but if not, I hope you all have a wonderful week and I'll be back posting in September!

Love, Kate

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sweet Nate

My Sweet Boy

So, I know I am slightly biased, okay, maybe more than slightly, but never the less, is this child not the cutest you have ever laid your eyes on (with the exception of his sister, Juliana, of course!)??????

Can you even believe he is THREE YEARS OLD now? Okay, maybe you can, because it's no big deal to you. But to me, to me...his sweet little childhood is simply going by way, WAY too fast! He is about to start his second year of preschool and he'll go three days a week. It is hard to believe that soon he will be going to school full time and coming home with homework and making new friends and dating girls and driving a car and getting married.....AHAHAHA!!!!! Okay, I've slowed down, for now I will just enjoy continuing to watch him grow into such an unbelievably handsome, smart, witty, caring, sweet little boy....

Oh, and for those of you who never saw this really, cute (I really mean hilarious) photo of my poor babe stuffed into a super small infant swim suit while vacationing in the Outer Banks, NC a few years ago...


Monday, August 18, 2008

Summer Food Indulging

One of my most favorite things about Summer is being able to use so many fresh ingrediants in our cooking. Today was one of those days where we were just all about creating new recipes and enjoying the fruit of our labor.

The kids and I had fun creating our own frozen fruit Popsicles (made with a secret GREEN juice blend including broccoli, spinach and wheatgerm...hahahahahah!!!!!).

Juliana helped by dropping the strawberries into the blender and Nate by pushing all of the necessary blending buttons (of course).

Later on, we concocted our own Smoked Chicken Risotto recipe, (with leftover smoked chicken from the night before) and I must say, it was quite a success! (Recipe will come later today)

In addition, part of our preparation for a week long trip to the Outer Banks in NC next week, included smoking twenty (that's right, I said 20!) pounds of Boston Pork Butt to freeze and serve up to the 22 people who will all be staying in one house together!

A total of 13 hours was needed to get it to be JUST right, and at 11 pm last night as Pete and I stuck our forks into the two "butts" to begin the shredding....we soon realized that it was definitely going to be well worth the long day! A half hour later, meat having fallen right off the bone like butter, barbecue sauce added, and pulled pork stored in zip lock bags, we fed some scraps to the dogs and headed off to bed- where we dreamed of savory pulled pork sandwiches!

All in all, I have to say it was a fun day filled with excellent food resulting in very satisfied bellies!
Happy Monday to everyone!

More later, Kate

Sunday, August 17, 2008

If you LOVE, or even LIKE food, check this out!!!

I have found the most wonderful, unique food web site! I stumbled across Foodgawker on the even more unique web site, thepioneerwoman and have become completely hooked! The amazing photos of unbelievably delicious looking foods are what really grab your attention at first glimpse, but then you realize that a small click upon each one actually links you to another food web site or blog where you can find the recipe and usually a whole lot more!

Here are just a few of the links that we found appealing and couldn't help but check out for ourselves!

If you LOVE food and are interested in seeing some amazing looking food, PLEASE visit this web site and pass it on to your friends. I promise, you will be refreshed and smitten over it!

Happy browsing!

Love, Kate