Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bus Rider!!!!

Today Nate rode the bus home for the first time ever! After spending an average of 7 1/2 hours every week in the car driving him to and from school and sitting in that AWFUL carpool line, we finally decided it was time to make a change.

The leading factors:
  • Did you hear me say 7 and a 1/2 hours?! Just plain crazy.
  • all of that carbon monoxide going toward pollution- again, just plain crazy.
  • GAS for all of that driving- again, same craziness.
  • add to it another 2 hours a week taking Jules to and from preschool and of course the carpool line there...
  • He was talking NON-STOP about wanting to ride the bus like all of his friends.
  • Time- after Tuesday's post, I think it's pretty clear how much more I need of this valuable commodity!
  • Poor Jules was beginning to go nuts spending so much time in the car!
  • And, frankly, so was I!

A Day in the Life of A First-Time Bus Rider

Boy, do my kids and I sure know how to make a great impression with our neighbors...

During the first week after moving into our new home in SC, we officially met our next door neighbors AFTER they graciously helped the soaking wet, frantic versions of us locate the water main valve in our front yard. You see, I had accidentally dropped a painting on top of a water pipe causing it to break apart and send (what seemed like) millions of gallons of water per second gushing into the first floor of our house....They were so calm and helpful when they found Nate and Jules, and I at their front door that cold December day, barefoot and dripping wet with water...for an honest to God good laugh, read all about it HERE.

Now that we live in Birmingham and are still meeting new people, we had another great opportunity to get to know some more of our neighbors today while at the bus stop (Jules and I were there waiting for Nate, who was taking the bus home from school for the FIRST time ever!!!!). After making our way there, I parked Juliana's stroller on the side of the road, and she got out to play on some grass. All was going fantastic. I was even chatting it up with a really friendly neighborhood woman, and then Juliana decided to run off and head back home- a few houses away- for real...Off she went, just like THAT.

So I was forced to rudely interrupt this newly met neighbor of mine, and had to frantically chase after Juliana, calling her, threatening her like a crazy woman, camera hanging around my neck and all, "Jules, come back, right now, or you're going to be in big trouble!!!!"

Then, I heard it. The bus was coming, and I stopped in my tracks and turned around.


So, pause for a moment with me here. Do I keep heading home and make sure Juliana is okay? If I do, I'll miss getting a picture of Nate stepping off of the bus, and worse, I won't be there for him to run to and hug ( remember this is in my imagination- because in reality kindergarten boys do NOT run and hug their moms in public anymore). I turn my back to Juliana (who has now slipped well beyond my vision) i order to make sure I am ready and waiting for Nate at the bus stop?

What would my new neighbor friends think? (Gasp! She let her 3-year-old run off out of her sight?! Or, What a shame, her poor sweet kindergartner has to get off of the bus for the FIRST time ever and not have mom waiting for him....)

Oh, the dilemma....

Thankfully, just in the nick of time, I saw Juliana emerge over the hill and I had just enough time to turn around and quickly aim my camera in the direction of the bus- just as Nate was stepping off.

And if you can believe it, he actually was so excited to have taken the bus home that he DID run straight in my direction, and gave me the biggest hug ever!


Well, it was for a minute anyway. I looked back in the direction of Juliana, who was in tears, unsuccessfully trying to get her tricycle over the neighbor's hill. Oh man...(can I not catch a break?!)

So I grabbed Nate's hand and headed in her direction only to turn around a second later after hearing a strange and rather unnerving sound- it was the sound of one of my neighbor's SUV's running over my stroller- the stroller I had carelessly parked in front of her car.

Wow. Things were getting bad. Really bad.

I turned around yet again, and headed in THAT direction, assuring her that there was no damage (even though one of the wheels was literally crushed). But I felt awful, it wasn't her fault, she couldn't even see the stroller sitting in front of her car.

So, Nate and Jules and I stood there for a moment, trying to catch our breath. And as soon as everyone else departed, off we headed home. Tails between our legs (well, mine anyway), with me pushing Juliana in a wobbly, broken stroller.

How poetic.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Stop. Take Note. Make necessary Changes...Again.

Okay, I'll admit it, I am am still making mistakes in life, and thankfully, I am also still learning from them.

This past summer was a tough one for me. For the first time in my life I felt lost, out of character, unhappy, and mostly HOT. (Have I mentioned once or twice now how much I hate the ridiculous heat here in Birmingham?). Plus, there was that tremendous lack of structure in our lives, which was fun and all for like the first THREE days maybe. So, with the onset of the school year suddenly offering me the chance to jump back on the routine wagon, I quickly stood up again, dusted myself off and threw myself back into the world again-full speed ahead.

I signed up for this. I Joined that. I was practically the first to raise my hand at every volunteer opportunity.

“Sure, no problem!” I’d say. “I’d love to tackle that one!”

Kindergarten room mom? Bring it on!

Help out with a fundraising event for a local women’s shelter? Are you kidding me, how could I possibly say no?

Direct a holiday floral decorating event at church? Why not?!

Manage the class booth for the Fall Fun Festival at Nate’s school. You bet.

Write 25 articles a month to begin paying off my looming student loans. No choice, but I’m still excited about it!

Sign up to help out with almost every party at Juliana’s Preschool? Of course!!!! (I swear I was THIS close to volunteering to be the room mom for her class too…).

And this is my favorite- volunteer to be in charge of all the party foods for Nate's class- after I complained about the extent of sugary and processed "treats." Way to go, Kate.

And do all this while still trying to meal plan, grocery shop, cook dinner, make lunches, clean all 10,000 sq. ft of our house (okay, I’m really exaggerating), spend an hour and a half driving to and from schools and sitting in carpool lines (twice daily), feeding the dogs, doing laundry, folding and putting away laundry, ironing Pete’s clothes, working with each child educationally, taking Nate to baseball practice and games, paying bills, doing dishes, picking up backyard dog poop (YUCK), maintaining the yard, cleaning the clutter, giving baths, reading stories, visits to the doctor, etc… etc…

You get the picture. We all do it, right? We take on too much, and what kills me is that most often, we KNOW that we’re doing it, and we don’t stop. We’re MOMS, and it is just what we do.

BUT, I am beginning to see the negatives associated with this insanity.

I am:

  • becoming impatient
  • running on little sleep
  • gaining weight (trust me, its in all the wrong places)
  • missing out on more quality time with my kids
  • neglecting valuable relationships with friends and family
  • creating tension, and a "rush, rush" environment in my home
  • missing out on more enjoyable activities for myself
Just seven weeks after the chaos begun, I am stopping for a moment, taking note, and making necessary changes.
  • This morning I went for a run, and it felt awesome. I got some me time and I'm working on getting back in shape.
  • I'm going to ask for more help from others
  • I'm going to withhold from any further volunteering right now
  • I'm going to spend the day with Jules-(we're going to make an apple pie!)
I'm going to try my best to slow down, and figure out what is really important to me these days. I am just thankful that I begun to consider all of this, before it got TOO late!

What about you?

What activity or time consuming event this week could you just look at and say, no?!!!!

Enjoy your Tuesday,

Friday, September 24, 2010

What A Day...

Last nigh as Nate was playing with the round rope swing, throwing it up in the air, poor Juliana got in the way and came face to face, literally, with what they call the "cookie" swing. Within minutes a large goose bump swelled up on one of her cheekbones. This morning we headed to the pediatrician and then over to get X-rays to make sure there weren't any fractures. Thankfully, there were not, just a cheek full of damaged internal tissue. Poor thing will probably look like she's been punched now for the next two weeks!

She's feeling much better this afternoon, and it's a good thing, because we have some celebrating to do here!

Nate lost his first tooth while at school today! Sadly, however, he asked me if the tooth fairy could bring him a new toy gun.

Are you kidding me?!!!

"No," I responded. "The tooth fairy doesn't believe in guns!

And me? Well, my excitement for the day was having to chase down my runaway dogs for the umpteenth time. And go figure, of all of the days they run away, today they were not wearing their collars and tags... least I finally got my hair cut!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What's Making Me Happy These Days

  • lunch with Nate at school
  • Clean hardwood floors in the kitchen
  • My new hair cut (I had 4 inches chopped off and am seriously feeling lighter!)
  • This Song, go ahead, I dare you, just click it and hit play, I swear you'll be dancing in no time!
  • Spontaneous chit Chats with longtime friends
  • Belle Chevre Goat Cheese, and it's made right here in AL!
  • Feeling like I am 25, when in fact I am really 32 (okay...36)
  • The IDEA that fall is lurking around the corner...please, oh please get here soon!
  • Seeing Nate actually write the word Monster-without my suggestion
  • Tuesdays with Juliana-just the two of us
  • American Pickers TV show
  • My spearmint C.O Bigelow lip gloss, oh yeah....
  • A reunion with my long lost novella, one of these days I'll get her published!
  • Morning tea with Agave nectar
That's good for now, right?

What's making YOU happy these days?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rocken and Rolling-Agliata Style

This is one of Pete and Nate's favorite weekend activities, grooving to some of their own tunes....
Love it!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Worth Noting- Juliana's First Week of Preschool

Another school year has begun, meaning more structure (THANK GOD) for all of us!

On her first day, Jules could barely keep herself from jumping out of the car and running into the school...quite a big difference from last year with all of her kicking and screaming as I tried my best to gently hand her over to the teachers...(I'm seriously wincing at the memory!).

She's growing up much too fast for my liking. Where do all of those little moments go, you know, the ones where you just stop what you're doing and look over at your children and try so hard to capture (in your fading mind's eye) the goofy face she's making, or the pure joy he's radiating as he just mastered writing his own name.
Each and every day I thank God for reminding me to stop here and there and take note of those moments.
This blog was created for that purpose-so that I could stop, take note and physically record our family's moments and experiences. I've let too many other things get in the way of keeping track, keeping current. Beginning today I am going to challenge myself to post here every day-at least from now until the end of the year. I'm curious to see how it will go for me-so many new responsibilities have left me feeling drained, unmotivated and facing a creative block (ahhhhh!).
But I know it needs to change, and I need to get back here. Even if I only post a picture or a quote, I'm committing myself to once again being present here daily...because this is the place for my good stuff...the stuff that is worth noting.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Today's Memory

Last night at Nate's baseball practice, Juliana saw her little friend, Tristen, reach into her mom's purse and pull out a package of gum.

"What is that?" Jules asked her friend's mom.
"It's gum," she replied.

To which Juliana responded, "what's gum?"

...Have I sheltered her TOO much?!!!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Gang's All Here-Jule's Backyard Picnic

Since I've started having children, my mom periodically brings old boxes to us filled with clothes, toys or other items from my childhood. I love that my mom took the time to save a few of our things, and that she knows just the right time to pass them along to the kids. Recently, she gave Juliana the remnants of my sister's and my Fisher Price Little People (circa 1980!)! It was so cool to see them all again, and watching Juliana play with them has brought back a lot of memories for me.

What are some of your favorite childhood toy memories?