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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Energy Responsibility and Kids

Sponsored Post

I am constantly having to go behind my children and turn off the lights. They don't know where energy comes from or even have a vague idea of it's cost. They just know that I am constantly complaining about them leaving the lights on when they leave a room. I have tried to explain that when we use our lights, computers, television or anything else that requires electricity, that mommy and daddy have to pay money. This of course baffles them, especially KiKi, because as a very "wired" family we are constantly using energy it seems with little care.

We are however very conscious when the bill appears in the post. Of course the children never see that bit.

My oldest daughter, LaLa, however has become a bit more conscious about the effects of energy use now that she is a bit older. They have an eco-team at their school and the team is constantly sharing new ways to be a little more green with the school. LaLa has taken on board many of the lessons that she has learned through the eco-team and brought them home to share with the family. We are now very good at recycling and reusing items. She has also learned that energy is not just a infinite resource and has started inquiring more and more about ways to save energy as a way to be more environmentally friendly.

There is a new way to monitor energy consumption in the home that British Gas is now offering their customers called Smart Meters. In case you have never heard of a Smart Meter, they are meters that are inside the home that actually show you your energy consumption in real time. They also show you how much you are spending for your energy. I think the concept of these meters are fabulous. No more guessing about what your bill will be; how awesome is that? Also, you can show your children by looking at the Smart Meter how much energy you are using when certain appliances. I love the idea of having a visual aid to teach a child about the importance of energy conservation, not only for the good of the Earth, but for the good of my pocketbook.

I think my kids would find a Smart Meter as a learning tool fascinating. LaLa especially would love it because she is very into science and how things work. I could see her doing experiments to see what the energy consumption levels would be with certain appliances turned off and on. I would love it because my constant complaints about how much energy they are wasting would be then visually enforced. That is being a Smart Mum.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Kinda like Roto-rooter (or Dyno Rod)

I rarely go to the doctor. Mostly because I don't have time to be sick. So when it comes to "wellness checks" and such, those usually get forgotten about for years. However, this year I was forced to go to get my wellness checks due to my overwhelming desire not to have any more children. This baby factory is closed. I have been on the Mirena coil for the last 5 years and it has been wonderful (no this isn't a sponsored post or a review..well I guess it is a bit of a review if you count the fact that YAY no babies while I was on it!) However, it had reached the end of it's shelf life and I had to go to the doctor to discuss my birth control options. Joy of joy I just love taking about my girlie bits with strangers /sarcasm (and yet I don't mind writing about it...).

I am not actually writing this because of my decision of what to do about my birth control situation but because I actually had fun at my doctors appointments. You see, my regular doctor was out of town (aka. probably deployed) so I got pawned off to a civilian woman doctor and her gorgeous sidekick (her enlisted tech).

At my first visit I got called back to the exam room by Airman Gorgeous (that's what we're calling him now in our head) and he checked my personal information to make sure that I was the right patient. We kinda were joking and then he said "you would be surprised at the number of times we have called last names and then realized that we had the wrong person with the same last name" which is probably inappropriate to tell your patient as you're heading back to the exam room, but hey-ho. So when we get there he asks why I am there. Birth control. Yadda yadda. And then he proceeds to tell me all about his wife's birth control. At this point in my head I am dying laughing because I am pretty sure his wife would KILL him for divulging this kind of information to a stranger/patient. Then my doctor arrives. I was expecting a British doctor because most of the civilian doctors I have ran across on base have been British, but she was American. As we began talking I also realized that she must have been on of the authors of The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook as well. As we discussed my options she would name off all the side effects and complications. In my head I was wondering if she just wanted me to go with the au naturel method of conception, but then she just said "well, if it's not broke, don't fix it". So, she decided to replace the coil I had.

Fast forward a week. She told me I have a gorgeous cervix (why thank you!). And surprised me with a smear test (bugger!). Mind you I have absolutely no dignity now that I have had two children, so her feeling up my boobs for a cancer screen and being spread eagle for the work that needed to be done "down there" didn't bother me a bit. However I found it hysterical that she and I managed to have a half hour long conversation about my kids and some of the funny things that they have done, all whilst she would occasionally tell me to prepare myself for something to hurt. Best smear test I have ever had. At the end of the visit I didn't know if I should shake her hand, hug her or ask her to buy me dinner first next time.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Blogger Resumé (we don't say CV around here)

This has taken me FOREVER to get around too. You see, I have too many pictures. I however really wanted a Blogger Calendar from Cybermummy, so I have complied.

My blogging inspiration is obviously my children and our relocation to England. This picture was taken the spring after we moved here. I just love the way they are holding hands and actually for once getting along. *sigh*

This blog was actually conceived in my living room while I was living in Missouri in July of 2008. I had just found out that we were moving to England for my husband's job (US Air Force) and I was completely excited. The name comes from when I was searching for houses. I loved the fact that one story houses were called bungalows. It was something that was completely different from the USA.

My blog has morphed so much through the years. At first it was about the anticipation of the move, then it was the classic fish out of water story, now it is about my life here where I am comfortable. I love living here and I think that shows in my blog. I have had the most amazing experience living and blogging in the UK. I have made some of the most amazing blogging pals here (and non blogging friends as well) and I can't imagine my life had this whole experience not happened. Quite dull I assume.

As a blogger here in the UK I have had some amazing experiences. I have worked with some amazing brands including Nokia and Argos. I have been to two CyberMummy conferences, which were so much fun that it should be NEARLY illegal. I have met some of my closest blogging friends including Jay, Tara, Michelle, NFAH, Nickie and Amy. I have made a gazillion other friends that I haven't met YET. I have also walked out of a blogging conference session...which we won't name but we will...cause she totally deserved it *cough*.

Overall it has been a barrel of laughs and I wouldn't change a thing. OK, so maybe I might have made the effort to go to a few more events, but overall, it has been a blast. Most of all it has been real. Real fun. Real friends. Real experiences.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dear So and So...In a Hurry

Dear Snow,

You are not allowed to fall until after the 22nd. If Heathrow is closed on the 22nd I am going to be really really angry! Just keep the white stuff on hold until after then. I don't care if my parents get stuck here, but I would care if they didn't get here, understand?

Pleading, Kat

Dear Gingerbread Rogers,

I don't know why you stink for a full 15 minutes after you use your cat tray, but oh my goodness, you're killin me. New rule, no cuddling after poops.

Your Human Mom, Kat

Dear Newly Hired Christmas House Elves,

Get to work!!

*shakes fist*, Kat

Dear Spawn of Mine,

This Christmas season we are going to have FUN. We will not ARGUE. We will not kick, hit, call names, exclude, make fun of, or taunt one another. You will follow the rules and you will LIKE it dangit!

Love, Mom

Dear Readers,

If you have your own letters please feel free to link up. This will be the last Dear So and So of the year. I am taking next week off because my parents will (no snow willing) be in town. See you in January!!

Love, Kat

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Circus, Acrobats and Musings

This is a guest post written by my friend, Jo, otherwise known as Slummy Single Mummy. I met Jo two years ago at CyberMummy and immediately developed a blog crush on her. Also, she's not slummy, at all. She does however have the ability (with the help of other mums released from their child rearing cages) to make a 19 year old boy turn as red as a beet in front of his mother and girlfriend. That was a good time... So make Jo feel welcome at the Bungalow and go check out her blog when you have the chance!

This week we went to watch some circus cabaret. It was fairly low key – no elephants juggling chainsaws or anything – but very enjoyable nonetheless.

It got me thinking though.

As I watched a beautifully graceful young girl dangling 30 feet in the air from a piece of silk, my first emotion was jealousy. ‘It’s not fair,’ I thought to myself, ‘why don’t I look like that? Why can’t I even do the monkey bars in the park and yet she can hang upside down from a piece of cloth by one foot?’

I had to stop myself then, and switch out of my ‘bitter, chubby, 30-something’ mode. She wasn’t born able to do it after all. She has practiced and practiced, determined to succeed. I could do it too if I wanted it badly enough and wasn’t so easily led astray by Jaffa Cakes. It’s true that most people probably wouldn’t want to see me in a leotard, but that’s not the point. Potentially, I could be an acrobat. Fact.

Potentially, we could be an awful lot of things couldn’t we?

The idea of all of this potential is something I find hugely uplifting, and it’s normally a good indicator for me of my underlying mood. Being able to see the potential in things, in an individual opportunity or in life generally, is what positivity and happiness is all about for me. When I'm finding it hard to be inspired and struggling to imagine the future, I know I need to take some time out to recharge my batteries. When I feel my mind wandering though, thinking up ideas, spotting new avenues to explore, it gives me a particular kind of energy and excitement that makes me feel really alive. It’s that sense of freedom, of ‘I can do anything I want!’

Of course most of the time I don’t actually know what it is that I do want, but that doesn’t matter, because that’s part of the fun isn't it?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Children's Christmas Party- Air Force Style

"All the fun starts at 2pm- don't be late!" is what the invitation to the squadron children's Christmas party said. So my husband and I made threats and barked orders, somehow managing to get the girls to the hanger where the party was starting with five minutes to spare. We were then ushered outside onto the flight line. You could see the confusion on even the parents faces. All I could think was, "Damn it's cold outside, this better be good!"

We were standing out on the stark runway for a few minutes before the thumping of helicopter rotors could be heard approaching. Of course I then in my headheard Arnold Schwarzenegger in my head yell "Get to the choppa!!" like in The Predator.

My mind work in a weird way people.

When the helicopter swung around we saw this...

What the what? Is that? Noooooo.

It was.
I guess his sleigh was in for repairs......

My kids of course at this point were going completely insanely bonkers. "DID YOU SEE THAT?!?!?!" LaLa screamed at me over the beating of the chopper blades.

"I sure did, kiddo!"

I sure did.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Silent Sunday

Friday, December 9, 2011

Dear So and So...I Really Should Expect This By Now

Dear Alarm Clock Mobile Phone,

Your snooze button and dismiss button are entirely too close together. Needless to say I over slept by a good 45 min.

Once Again Running Late, Kat

Dear Children,

Getting ready in 20 minutes was wonderful. We weren't even late to school!

Love, Mom/Mum (whichever you feel like calling me at this point)

Dear School Secretary,

Thanks for just letting the children go to their classrooms without making me sign them in tardy. We *just* missed their lines going to the classrooms by a fraction of a minute. Technically not late!

Thank, Kat (The crazy disheveled PTA mom)

Dear Slowest Driver in Suffolk,

You didn't exactly help my cause of getting the children to school on time now did you?

Just Pointing Out the Obvious, Kat

Dear Readers,

If you have your own letters this week, please link up. Have a wonderful cheery weekend.

Love, Kat

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Have A Little Patience

I know that we live in an instant gratification culture where everything has to be done NOW and we want everything to happen FASTER, but does it have to happen at the expense of manners? Lately, I have noticed a gigantic lack of manners in the pursuit of expedience. I know that when you are in a hurry sometimes one can forget a please or thank you, but it has gone past these minor oversights lately in my dealings with the general public.

One of my biggest complaints is when you call to an office and the person who is answering the phone tries to immediately pawn you off to another department, cutting off what you are saying before you have finished explaining the situation. This happened to me the other day when I called to make a doctors appointment. I needed a referral from my GP. The lady at the front desk of the Family Practice Clinic immediately tried to transfer me to another office even though I knew that I needed to speak to her first (I did my research). Immediately I had to stop her before she hit the button to transfer me. "Wait, wait, wait I need a referral from *MY* doctor before that clinic will even see me." Of course, then she was very terse with me. You know, because I made her do her job correctly. Yes, I am the one with no manners. Right.

Then, today on the way home from church I stopped at the store to pick up some milk so I wouldn't have to have a tea-less afternoon, and witnessed the most egregious impatient and thoughtless behavior that I have been privy to lately. In fact this behavior was not only impatient but dangerous, all in the name of expedience. I had circled the small car park outside the store a couple of times, and because it was lunch time there were no spaces, so I kept circling hoping one would open up. I spotted a man walking to his car and stopped mine and put on my indicator so that everyone behind me would know that I intended to take his spot. I sat and waited for him to start his car and back out. Instead of waiting behind me, the impatient person in the car behind me pulled around me to go past and was nearly hit by the guy backing out of the parking space. What an idiot. Obviously waiting a minute for this car to back up and for me to pull into the parking space was going to take ENTIRELY too much of his ever important time. Of course, I then threw up my hands in disgust and gave him the evil eye- as one does.

I don't know if it is the stress of the holidays making people act like they were raised in a barn or if it is just a sign of the times, but I really don't like it at all. So, when you are doing your job, or out in public, take a minute and think about the consequences of your actions or lack thereof. In short, don't be an asshole.

Night Crazies

I am by nature a night owl. I can easily stay up until 1 or 2 in in the morning without even thinking about it. However, lately I have been absolutely drained by about 10pm. Last night I was in bed by 10.30, which if you ever asked any of my friends is completely out of character. It's just not something I do. Now I know why. The night crazies.

Normally I use the term night crazies to refer to the time of the night when my cats go completely insane and have bursts of energy at completely inappropriate times; like at 3am when everyone else in the house is trying to sleep. Now, however, I have realized that I get the night crazies as well, only mine only involves bursts of energy to my brain.

It goes a bit like this: Did I lock the door? Yes. *snuggle into bed* Why is he breathing so loud? It's like he has an air compressor in his body...I guess that would be his lungs. We should probably get two more tires but on the car soon (this ties into the air compressor) so we don't have to worry about the MOT next year. I need to call the financial guy tomorrow after church. Did I have homework for Bible study? No, it's just a video this week. Crap I forgot to return the films back to the rental place. I can do that and check the mail after church THEN call financial guy. Dang he is snoring loudly- The Man, not financial guy. Well if I am going to be on base I should probably go get a few things for dinner tomorrow. What should we have...chicken? Just had chicken yesterday. Spaghetti tonight....hmmmm....I really want chicken though. Ok, so need chicken and veggies. And milk. And coffee. Boy I am glad I didn't drink any coffee this evening or I would never get to sleep. Not that I am sleeping now. I wonder what the kitten is doing. "Ginger..where are you" *Ginger jumps on the bed* *Ginger attacks feet under the covers* "OK go away Ginge" *puts Ginger back on the floor* *Ginger hops back on the bed and attacks feet again* "I said Go away" *puts cat back on the floor* *Lays back down* Why I ever thought a kitten was a good idea I will never know... Because they are lovely and fun and want to play all the time. *Kitten jumps back on the bed attacks feet* *Puts the cat back on the floor* I should have never called her. She was probably sleeping which is what I need to be doing. What time is it? 11? Eh, it's early.

And my brain keeps going like this for HOURS.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Favorite Christmas Song

I was sorta tagged by Tara for this one but I asked for it and loved every minute of it!

I guess it all started when I was a kid but to me it isn't Christmas until I hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing Joy To the World. It was on a CD that my Mom had when I was growing up. We used to decorate the our Chirstmas tree each year and this song was the first one on the CD. So, I give you the song that makes it feel like Chistmas to me....

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I tag everyone who sees this!!! (am evil)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Silent Sunday

Friday, December 2, 2011

Dear So and So...Oh shhh....ugar

Dear Kid on the Bus,

The next time my child even speaks your name about something mean you have done I am going to call your mother and tell her exactly what I think. Quit being a bully. Understand?

Momma Bear, Kat

Dear Christmas Fayre at School,

I hope you are exciting and fun for the children. We have really worked our butts off this year getting ready for you and it has been time consuming and exhausting. No offense, but I can't wait until you are over this afternoon!

Regards, Kat

Dear Cupcakes,

Can you bake yourselves? I have 50 million things to do today before the fayre and you being the most time consuming...*sigh*

Exhausted, Kat

Dear Cars,

Alright, I have spent ridiculous amounts of money this year to get you MOT'd. Next year could you please just pass the dang inspection so I don't have to be broke at Christmastime again?

*Shakes empty purse*, Kat

Dear Gingerbread Rogers,

Next time when the dog barks and I am holding you, the correct response is to ignore it, not freak out and run with your claws out. My hands just might have lasting scars because of this.

Love Your Understanding New Human Mom, Kat

Dear Readers,

I hope you all have wonderful weekends. If you have a letter, please link up!

Love, Kat