Monday, July 28, 2008

Just Like Daddy

We spent the weekend re hauling the house and working on projects...the wood fence, working on the yard, cleaning this, and cleaning that, organizing the kids closets, changing the oil in the truck. Okay, that last one wasn't necessarily a family project, but at least one of us really took note and has been trying to keep the momentum of it going into Monday.....
Here is Nate imitating Daddy under the truck yesterday. He claims to fixing Juliana's "truck!" I love it!
All else is well in Agliata land. I received the results from the MRI I had done last week: two bulging disks in my lower back. They suggested cortizone injections to deal with the pain. Sounds okay, but when asked what caused it, or what I can do to prevent it in the future, the nurse was a bit dumbfounded. "Hum, good question, I'll have to talk to the doctor and get back to you," she offered. Do we really live in a world where it is all about treating the symptoms and not about getting to the root cause in addition?
More later!
Love, Kate

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Accepting the Energy Challenge

A few days ago, I posted about Al Gore's energy challenge and hope that many of you have had the opportunity to familiarize yourself with it. It is a huge challenge, one that I have begun to reflect upon seriously. How can I contribute? How can we all begin to contribute? In my research, it seems that the best role I can play is to help inform others. I can do this by calling my state representatives and asking them how they plan on making this challenge a realistic goal. I can and plan on writing a letter to the editor of our local paper and I aim to encourage other people, my friends, my family and my neighbors to educate themselves and to become involved in solving this crucial dilemma. The state of Texas just approved a $4.93 billion wind-powered transition project for a huge part of the state. This means that hundreds of thousands of people will be receiving their electricity through the use of wind. Wind is not only reliable, but it is also FREE!

Here is some more information gathered from the We campaign:

"He challenged America to generate 100% of our electricity from sources that do not lead to global warming -- and to do it within 10 years. Meeting this ambitious goal would create millions of new jobs, lead to permanently lower energy costs for families and help America lead the fight against global warming. Watch his powerful speech here.

John McCain couldn't ignore it, saying "if the Vice President says it's doable, I believe it's doable." And Barack Obama said, "I strongly agree with Vice President Gore that we cannot drill our way to energy independence, but must fast-track investments in renewable sources of energy like solar power, wind power and advanced biofuels."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Challenges Ahead Lead to Better Life

I woke up this morning, pulled the curtain back from the window, and peered up at the 3/4 full moon still hanging in the sky. To the left were the mountains of Asheville, NC....what a beautiful way to wake up to the world. Pete and I are still on our travels, we'll head home later this afternoon after a busy past few days of exploring, catching up with friends and some major considerations on our part. There could be some wonderful, exciting, yet also scary transitions ahead of us soon!

Asheville is vibrant and culturally alive like no other city I know. The downtown has a heartbeat all of it's own and screams passion, art, good health, beauty, architecture, strength and soul. The restaurants focus on using local foods and aim to provide the best in organics, nutrition and tastes. It is truly a beautiful city, in structure and in quality of life. The outskirts of Asheville...I'm not so sure about.

The kids are well, it's been really fun to see and talk with them via Skype on the Internet! With the help of a tiny web cam- we've been able to feel so close to them, even this far away! Krista has done an amazing job staying with them and holding down the fort! I think she has a good comprehension now however, of what it is like to be a stay at home mom (in the middle of all the endless pine trees!). She understands my frustrations!

We were thrilled to see Al Gore's recent clean energy challenge hit mainstream America this past week and hope that everyone has a chance to familiarize themselves with the goals he stresses and importance of his message. I'll talk more about this in the coming days but for now, if you haven't already seen this, please check it out

More later, Kate

Friday, July 18, 2008

Peace and Quiet

Things have been a bit chaotic around here for us and I haven't had a whole lot of personal time, so I apologize once again, for my long absence. After about a year of constant lower back pain, I finally came to a point where I just couldn't live with not knowing why or what is going on! Yesterday I had an MRI done and will get the results sometime next week...

Crazy though, I always knew I was slightly claustrophobic, but only when I was slid all the way into that machine yesterday, did it really hit me just how much so. With only about 2 inches between my nose and the ceiling, I actually began panicking a tad bit! However, once I was able to see that my feet were out on the other end of the table and in broad day light, I felt better. The whole thing lasted about 35 minutes and strangely enough it was the most peaceful part of my day!

We are away for the weekend- away from the house, away from Dublin, away from the endless pine trees and the thought of having to cook, clean and spend another day not having anywhere to go! The only sad part, is that we are also away from the kids! Okay, maybe not soooo sad, a little bit sad, but mostly it's alright. I really needed a little time. Our saviour, Auntie Krista came in for four days to hold down the fort. Let's all take a moment of silence in appreciation of her and also to pray that the kids don't drive her away and that she remembers to close the toilet lid so Jules will stay out of the potty!

I'm off to attempt to work on my slightly abandoned thesis and enjoy some change of scenery!
I'll try and post again soon- I promise!!!!

Love Kate

Monday, July 14, 2008

Becoming Independent

I've been MIA for a few days now, trying to get our house in shape and tackling all kinds of projects...sorry if you've missed me!

Don't you just love the "Okay, mom, I'm ready to be independent! Let me do it myself!!!" phase?

Just kidding, it really is wonderful to see her wanting to do so many things herself, but oh so sad for me, my baby is growing up, and oh so much more mess for me to clean up!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Going Cloth?

Today as I changed Juliana's diaper for the fourth time since she woke, and tossed it into my garbage can, I thought, why am I still doing this? Why am I still buying these incredibly toxic and un-recyclable plastic diapers? Every time I throw one away I am sick to my stomach with thoughts of it sitting there in the capped off and closed landfill for the next 2-300 hundred years. The organic and biodegradable diaper wipe trapped inside of the diaper and not aloud to biodegrade as it was made to do! So, here is what I decided: I am going to give cloth diapers a TRY. Years ago, when we first had Nate I seriously considered it, but then was told by someone who had tried it that it was so much work and you used a ton of hot water just having to clean the darn things. But now after doing some research and talking to some people who have had good luck with them, I think I am up for the challenge and the reward of doing it. Additionally, at 16 months, Juliana is a bit older and doesn't need her diaper changed every hour.

So, what are your experiences with cloth diapers? Have you used them? Do you know anyone else who has? What are their experiences?

I am getting so excited about this and am really kicking myself for not having the balls to try it sooner. Wish us luck...I'll keep you posted on what happens with them.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Living Healthy

Yes, yes, I know you are just dying to have more information on those amazing spinach brownies...

Check out our family's new Living Healthy page and see for yourself! FYI- We're still under contruction (I know, I know, as usual) so cut us some slack!
Love, Kate

Monday, July 7, 2008


This morning as I was working diligently on completing the tasks at hand on my NEW organized daily schedule, (I was making spinach infused Brownies for the me, I know it sounds weird, we'll address this a little later) and I came across this on the plastic lid of the spinach container.

If you'll look at the image to the right, it says that the packaging used to make the plastic container was made from "all natural CORN."

Wow. I had no idea they could do something like this! Is this new? Is this more economically savvy? Why aren't more companies doing it? All of these thoughts went spinning through my mind.

So, I did a little research, and discovered, that yes, it is a great new product, but it has it's pluses and it's negatives. The best part about it is that it is made from corn, obviously a non-petroleum based product that is actually compostable! The bad- people who may not know any better are trying to recycle this product and it doesn't really recycle well, especially when mixed with all of the other oil-based plastics. So, although it's a great product for the environment, it may not be good for recyclers. Interesting. I am going to put this into my compost and see what happens!

On another note, my new routine is going well. I've had to tweak a few things already, but that is expected. We hooked it up to an old Palm Pilot, and I'll tell you, the thing really has me on my toes with all of the bells and alarms going off each hour! Have you completed this task yet? It practically yells at me...I'm right on it, I swear!

And just for fun....Here is my proud boy as he shows off his "Pizza Tower," of course coined after Daddy's reference to the "Leaning Tower of Pizza." Does it get any better then this?
Love, Kate

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Getting my Act Together!

We spent the Fourth at a friend's house in Macon and had an absolute blast! The kids swam like fish, all day long and Pete and I took turns relaxing and playing lifeguard to the kids. In the 6 hours that we were there, Nate went from wearing a swim suit padded with chest floatation's, (you'd have to see it to understand) to wearing arm floaters, to swimming on his own. Did I mention that he also learned to cannon Ball and DIVE! We may have a future Olympic Swimmer on our hands.

I spent most of last week in a state of blurred frustration at the mess I had created with my once fine tuned "routine." Being in a new season, not only weather wise, but also phase in the children's lives, I somehow lost my ground when it came to our daily schedule. When summer arrived and Nate's two days a week of preschool had ended, I was excited about having more time together. I envisioned countless summer afternoons spent working on arts and crafts projects, swimming in the kiddie pool and continuing the wonderful learning he had accomplished at the Children's Center. But then things changed. Juliana grew into a little person and started walking and talking, and talking, and talking...did I mention the talking? And Nate began peeing on the floor, (not all the time, I swear) and giving me a hard time about eating anything new. Kamilah (our Rhodesian Ridgeback) started digging a hole under the fence and having weekly adventures around the neighborhood. And I became a blogger! All of the sudden my wonderful cleaning routine, and daily schedule were becoming a hazzy blur. Things were getting out of control. I was dangerously close to loosing my mind, and yes, this was all only coming to a head last week.

Then, I decided that things around here had to get back in shape. I sat down with Pete (the ubber organizer in my life) and managed to create an awesome weekly schedule in Microsoft Office. I've (attempted) made room for everything from a block of "learning" time for the kids, to daily house cleaning, to an hour a day for my thesis....we'll see how it works. I will keep you posted! In the meanwhile, I am feeling good about getting back on let's just all pray (really hard, please) that I stay there.

Love, Kate

Friday, July 4, 2008

Feeling Independent

We were outside riding bikes yesterday, and Nate turns around and looks at the (humongous) handle on the back of his bike and says, "let's take that off, mama!" It is a little goofy looking, I think to myself. But I'm not ready to take it off. He's not ready to be without it, I reassure myself. He still needs my help every so often, doesn't he? He is getting so big! So Independent. Don't you love the book hanging out of the little back compartment. Of course, the book he has to bring everywhere with him has to be the one that is 24x18 long!
Happy Fourth of July everyone. Here is to the Independence our forefathers fought so hard for us to have! Today and all days, remember that that independence does not come for free. Stay involved in your community and government. And know that you're making a difference. It is our hope that our children learn to do the same.
Love, Kate

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Library Fun

I just want to let all of know that no, I am not pregnant. Really. That was my husband's concern yesterday after reading my post. What is UP with the emotions, Kate?!! He was just kidding and was incredible supportive of my "moodiness." In fact, he sent me to bed early last night and stayed up to do the dishes from the awesome beer battered trout we had for dinner last night. So THANKS Pete! You are a great husband!!!!!

I am feeling much better today, but maybe that is because we actually got dressed to the tee and took a drive into town!!! It wasn't anything spectacular, just the grocery store and library, but the kids had a lot of fun at the library and we stayed long enough to get our fill. I even found a great cook book for the kids that I have been wanting to get for a while- Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. I know it might be well, deceptive, to sneak veggies into your children's food without them knowing, but gosh darn it, I'm desperate! I'll let you know how some of the recipes fair.

In Eco-friendly talk, I have decided not to buy any more paper towels and paper napkins. I will see how this works for a little while and have a good alternative planned. Amazingly enough, when we got married and had that incredible gift registry, we actually asked for nice cloth fabric napkins, you know, the kind we thought we would use for all those fantastic dinner parties we imagined ourselves throwing (that we now never have). Anyway, I have put them to use, yes, even for the kids. Nate loves them! In addition, I have begun cleaning with old baby burp cloths, cut up tee shirts and worn out washcloths. It's all working well so far! And once again, I think I will save a good bit of dollars not having to purchase those two products. Have you reduced your paper product use? If so, how? I'd love to hear!

Hope you're well!
Love Kate

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Emotions and Gas Prices on the Rise!

Oh, how fast this summer is flying by us. My babies are growing up right before my eyes and tackling all kinds of new goals and adventures. They are like sponges, absorbing any and everything around them. Which is why I have become so much more aware of the incredible (large I mean, not always incredible) impact I have on them. When I am happy and loving life, they (usually) are too. When I am moody though, wow, is it catchy! Lately, it seems that they are both so much more sensitive to their surroundings and quick to alter their emotions in a heartbeat. One minute singing and laughing and the next, crying and screaming. And because of their constant closeness to me, these emotional waves are bellowing up against me every hour of every day, so that sometimes I'm not even sure why I am feeling a certain way, but just that it is probably the same way one, if not both of them are feeling! Have I lost you yet? Let's just say that I am not quite myself these days. Not leaving the neighborhood, but maybe once or twice a week these days is really, really, REALLY, starting to have a profound impact on me. I am becoming bitter about it all and can't wait for some changes to come really soon. I know, you say, why aren't you leaving the neighborhood? Well, for those of you who don't know, we live in the middle of well, a whole lot of pine tress and not a whole lot else. In order to go and do much, a whole lot of driving is required and, well as you know we are in the middle of an energy (gasoline) crisis! So, most days, Pete takes the Honda to work, because it is the better of the two evils in the garage! And we are back to square one- not leaving the yard or the neighborhood.

This brings me to my next Eco-friendly living discussion- cutting back on gasoline and vehicle use. So, because we chose to have two children and two Large dogs, whom we love to take on the road with us, we just couldn't purchase your run of the mill Volkswagen or four door vehicle. We decided that if we had to go SUV, then we would want the Honda Pilot- one of the best options in the three row SUV category for low fuel emissions and better gas mileage. So, we got it, love it and recommend it to everyone. However, it is still an SUV. So, because we live far, far away from most modern day conveniences, and fun things to do and see, I have taken to trying my best to conserve, conserve, conserve, and am doing so by limiting my driving time to and around town to just once or twice a week! Sure it is hard, but with some schedule adjusting and a bit of effort on mine and the kid's parts, we can make it happen pretty well. Now, if I had my choice, the better option would be to live somewhere where shops were only a few miles down the road, museums, libraries and zoos, weren't much further, and I could plan on walking Nate to school in another few years. But that isn't our current reality, so I deal....

What are you doing these days to conserve gasoline (oil) and fuel emissions? Have you made any driving changes?

On another note, I've posted a new set of photos on our web site- check them out when you have a minute. Hope you're all well!

Love, Kate