Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Missouri checked off

No complaining today. The kids and I are on the road to illness recovery, (just a few coughs here and there still) and we are back together with Pete as a whole family again. However, in order to do that, we had to travel to Missouri!

The kids and I flew out here Sunday to stay with Pete while he's here for business. We had a relatively smooth flight, despite Juliana's small bout of crankiness as we took off. We are looking forward to seeing some sights this week and I in particular, am grateful for the opportunity to not have to clean the house or make dinner for a week and a half straight!

Now I can check Missouri off of my "states to travel to in the US" list!

Hope you are all well! More later...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sophie The Dog-Queen For A Day

First, I want to apologize to everyone for my emotional breakdown the other day...we are all doing a bit better now and hanging in there as best as we can!

So, after my pity party, I decided to try and take my mind off of things and build this really neat hanging castle (of sorts) for the kids.

This is what it is supposed to look like....

(photo taken from Land of Nod)
Obviously, I still have a little work to do...
My kids were so excited about it and begged me to get back to it every time I took a break from the sewing machine. For days, all I heard about was this castle and how much they couldn't wait to play in it...

Then, after about 20 minutes they'd had their fill and Sophie decided that if the kids weren't going to make the most of it, she would...
Oh well. It was fun to get back behind the sewing machine anyway!

Monday, February 16, 2009

S...L...O...W... Start to the Week....

We have been stuck in the house for a whole week now (almost anyway). Nate was sick last week and now, Jules and I have the bug. Poor Jules is a lot worse off than me however. We are running out of things to play and things to build and things to make...and I can't get to the grocery store to save my life. Pantry items left...peanut butter and honey roasted peanuts...anyone, anyone?

At least Pete managed to come home from all of his business travels for 32 hours, before having to head back out to solve all of the world's problems...well at least Hubbell's. In the time he was home he did manage to jump through our bedroom ceiling from the attic however! So much excitement here at the Agliata house!

Friday, February 13, 2009

I Have A Secret...

Take a look.....

After many months of living in denial, I have decided to address it. I can't keep it a secret forever.

Anyone who has visited our new home probably thought we just had three bedrooms...but we really have a fourth, did I mention that? Maybe not, probably because it has been a secret room since we moved in. It has been the "I can't deal with this (insert whatever) so it has to go in here and I will close the door and not think about it again for a while," room. But I can't leave it that way anymore...I have to deal with it.

Here it is... in all of it's ugliness....

Someday, I hope to turn it into this....

(the guest room in HGTV's new "Green" Dream House in Sonoma Vally CA)

Okay, maybe this is a little over the top...but nonetheless, someday it will be a restful retreat of a guest room!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Future Accountant or Phone Book Editor?

One afternoon Juliana decided it would be fun to find out what was in these kitchen cabinets....
She discovered the phone books (among other things) and thought it would be fun to pull them out and sit with them on her lap...

Now that she knows where they are, she can't seem to stop herself from pulling them out, every day...So the other day, after finding her once again sitting on the floor flipping through the phone book, I asked her,

"Juliana, is that your new favorite book?"

She responded,"Yes, Momma! I love this book... Look at all the numbers!"

Should I be worried or on the phone with the nearest advanced learning/math focused preschool?
She is something else...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why We Love Country Life Blogs

What is it about the farm/country/upstate/downstate/rural/middle of nowhere/I grow all of my own vegetables, raise my own cattle (to eat), bake my own bread/buy everything in bulk because I live an hour away from town/home school my kiddos for the same reason/transform an old farmhouse into a stately manner, and always take amazing photos of my grand acreage, horses, birds, trees, weather and whatever else nature throws my way...BLOGS do we love so much?

It seems like every blogger I know has a link to PW...you all know who I'm talking about, The Pioneer Woman (duh)...we love her, we hate her, okay we don't really hate her we just wish we were her. But why? Is it that we secretly want to live out on a cattle ranch and eat cowboy food fare? I don't know about you, but I'm not terribly into the whole rural life and cattle everywhere thing...been there done a bit of that (Dudley, GA was rural enough for me!). I've ridden horses all of my life and while in Americorps had some experience herding elk, so it's not that I have anything against being around big animals or cleaning up after them. I just don't want to live the life...all the time.

But it doesn't mean I don't want to see it, hear about it, practically breath it, smell it, feel it, and live it occasionally through PW or a host of her other country-residing female contemporaries. I love that reading other people's blogs is like getting to live vicariously through them. What's not to love about getting an inside peek at the intimate details of a stranger's life? It's almost as good as reading a hard to put down novel!

Here are a few of the sites I check out to get my fix of country living...

Farm Girl Fare

The Country Doctor's Wife

The Pioneer Woman

Chronicles of A Country Girl

The Cotton Wife

Food, Fun and Farmlife in East Africa

And then I head back to my own reality...

Cleaning up the messes of a fairy princess and her brother....

Love, Kate

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hip to Be Green- A Mother's Shade of Green- Back up and Running!

(Photo from the cover of the Green Living Handbook: Saving the Planet...One Household at a Time! by David Gershon)

Some of you know that I started another blog- A Mother's Shade of Green sometime last year. However, with our recent move to a new state and all the chaos associated with it, I took a hiatus of sorts from writing on that blog.

I am happy to inform you now though, that she is back up and running!

Please stop by and visit often, share the information you read about with your friends and family and spread the link to help me attract new readers.

Thanks for your support and keep striving toward a greener way of life!

Friday, February 6, 2009

You Know my Husband is Away on Business When...

1. I buy frozen dinners for myself and feed the kids dreaded chicken nuggets just so I won't have to meal plan and wash pots and pans

2. I go to change the sheets after a few days and realize that the other two sets of sheets are still in the laundry pile, and I shrug it off, relieved at not having to go through the effort anyway.

3. I wake up in the middle of the night (every night) sure Ive heard someone in the kitchen when I've have never ever heard the noise when my husband was home

4. I start getting the kids into the bath at 7 pm and into bed at 7:45 just to have a little time to myself

5. I start venting to the dogs about the little annoying things in my day

6. I haven't ironed a thing in a week

7. I am running around like a crazy woman cleaning the entire house on Friday when it's usually spread out through the week

8. The kids and I eat dinner on stools at the counter with me going through the newspaper, Nate reading about pirates and Juliana flipping through the phone book!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stimulate the Economy by Buying Local!

One of my sisters is thinking of starting a new business designed to help educate the average American (and their friends and family if they want) about living a more green way of life. I am so excited for her about this possibility and hopes that she makes it happen! So many of us WANT to make the changes, but aren't sure where to start or even put it off thinking it will involve too much effort, or we are afraid of the unknown.

One great way to start making a huge contribution to a greener lifestyle is to buy locally! Do a little research about the places you shop at now and find out where their products are made...China, Japan, Indonesia? Take a few more minutes (you can spare them, I know you can) and find local merchants who sell similar products and start frequenting their shops and supporting them!

A friend of mine sent this to me earlier- it's hysterical!:

"This year, taxpayers will receive an Economic Stimulus Payment. This is a very exciting new program that I will explain using the Q and A format:

Q. What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

Q. Where will the government get this money?
A. From taxpayers.

Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
A. Only a smidgen.

Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
A. The plan is that you will use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

Q. But isn't that stimulating the economy of China ?
A. Shut up.

Below is some helpful advice on how to best help the US economy by spending your stimulus check wisely:

If you spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China.
If you spend it on gasoline it will go to the Arabs.
If you purchase a computer it will go to India.
If you purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala (unless you buy organic).
If you buy a car it will go to Japan. If you purchase useless crap it will go to Taiwan. And none of it will help the American economy.

We need to keep that money here in America. You can keep the money in America by spending it at yard sales, going to a baseball game, or spend it on prostitutes, beer and wine (domestic ONLY), or tattoos, since those are the only businesses still in the US.

Really funny, right? But it made me start thinking about the fact that there are so many small businesses (more than just the baseball vendors and beer companies) here that would love your support- let's start showing them!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

My Sad Clown

Nate's school is having Circus Day today...he was not very happy about having to dress as a clown...or maybe it was the awful makeup job I did...poor little guy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cooking for the Kiddos-Healthy, Entertaining Food Blogs

I spent a little too much time chasing down good bread recipes online this morning, (finally found a great sandwich bread one here) but on my wild and meandering journey, I discovered a whole heap of really cool food blogs- including ones for kiddos too!!

As many of you know, we've had our fair share of food issues with the kids around here, so I am always looking for good suggestions....Check em out if you have some time, I can't wait to check them out regularly!

I love her Recipe Swap Sundays section!
Her concept is simple, she creates fun, exciting and yummy recipes that are easy to put together for the entire family. And it looks like she wears high heels while doing it all....!
-Under The Highchair
Her efforts please a picky eater often end up "under the highchair!" Hahaha, get it? I know, I know....This blog is so easy to relate to though, in terms of frustration with a picky toddler, has great photos, and is really funny!

Plus- her blog was selected as the Best Mommy Blog by Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine....hum, Wow!
Her Whole Wheat Cranberry Cookies make my mouth water and will hopefully do the same for Nate and Jules!
This blog host a whole plethera of healthy eating and living for your family!
Enjoy reading!
Also, check out Weelicious... the first nutrional kiddo food site I found that gave me sincere hope!
Love, Kate

Monday, February 2, 2009

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

I woke up this morning and the first thought that came to my mind was "this is the first day of the rest of your life." I know how cliche, and completely random. I have no idea why it came to mind, I hadn't heard it or read it recently, but there it was and I kept thinking about it all morning...

So I dedicate this post to a few of the things those words are beginning to mean to me.

At the beginning of the year I talked about wanting to make changes in my life. I have been feeling out of sorts, not really unhappy, but just kind of dull. With the craziness associated with our recent move pretty much behind us, I feel like it is time to begin focusing on what I want to change in my life.

1. I'm going to start running again...

This photo helps motivate me to remember why I love to run so much! Standing there with my mom, a breast cancer survivor, at the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure in Raleigh, NC last year, I remember thinking how good it felt to be alive. That day I saw so many people who had the names of those they were remembering on the backs of their shirts- some had as many as a dozen names...I remember feeling so thankful that instead, I was there to honor my mom and the fact that she was lucky enough to survive.

2. Pete and I decided that we are going to choose an event or place to visit at least two Saturdays a month.

Upon moving here we were so excited to be close to a city and have so much culture, education, arts, and leisure activities right at our fingertips, but we still have yet to take advantage of so much this area has to offer us!!! I did take the kids to the zoo on Friday! It was so much fun and the kids and I had a really memorable time!

3. Documenting more of our life.

Since we got our new camera, I have been more and more enthralled with taking pictures of everyday occurrences. I can't wait to sort them out, edit them, and put together a printed book of each year of our life as a family. This was the first time my children got to experience snow!! I will forever remember the look on their faces as the cold, tiny flakes touched their noses!

4. Volunteer and be ready to help others more, whether by giving a hand, lending an ear, or helping to make goals come to life.

This is Stephanie, I have written about her before. She is amazing and has left an incredible impact on my life. I want to become more involved with people who need a little help...it's amazing how humble I feel in their presence and blessed to have made any small difference in their life.

That's it for now....I'm sure there will be more! I hope this new year is finding you motivated to bring about positive changes in your life as well!

Love, Kate