31 March 2014

Not Exactly Tiny

I am a few days past 35 weeks along now, and I have had some funny comments. I posted a belly picture on facebook, and a few people said how "tiny" I look. I find this wildly amusing, because the last thing in the world I am feeling this far along is tiny. Tiny must be reserved as an adjective for things like ladybugs or Alex's portions while he is dieting, not large pregnant abdomens, and ever expanding rear ends.

Funny enough, the other thing I keep getting asked is, "Are you due any day? Almost done, right?" I like these comments better. They acknowledge that I am, in fact, very large. I have done a lot of work here, and I want some recognition for that. I am starting to feel more ready for the following rewards.

1. A cute little baby
2. Ability to pull weeds without grunting on the way up and down
3. Ability to see the front of my ankles
4. Ability to shave the front of my ankles. Yesterday I put on some sandals to go to church and realized that I had missed that spot for at least a few weeks in a row. Whoops.
5. The space to hug my loved ones or hold my other small people on my lap
6. Possibility of rolling over in bed without waking completely up to muster my strength
7. The opportunity to change the laundry, rake, vacuum, go up the stairs, and any other variety of common daily tasks without becoming slightly short of breath
8. Did I mention a cute little baby? That is what I want the most. I keep seeing the little newborns in my neighborhood and having mad baby hunger cravings.

Alex and I are within 7 lbs of the same weight. He claims he wants to lose more, although I have tried to forbid him. So within the next few weeks maybe he and I will meet in the middle. Luckily, his biggest loser contest ends today. 

23 February 2014

Sunday, Blessed Sunday

"Get dressed, children."

"I am dressed, Mom." 

"Not in your play clothes, Henry, your church clothes. Grace, you cannot wear that shirt under that sweater dress. I can see the pattern of flowers. Henry, you cannot do anything fun or entertaining until you are dressed, even in your Sunday shoes!" 

5 minutes later:

"I am dressed. Now can I watch a show?"
"No, I said even down to your shoes. And socks!"

10 minutes later:

"Can you tie my shoes."

Fight, fight, fight, eat, eat, eat, spill on Sunday clothes, nag, nag, nag.

We arrive at church with tie-less boys who have uncombed hair, and one with macaroni and cheese yellow streaking down the front of his previously pristine white shirt.  Did I mention it is 1:00, so there is not really an excuse to be disheveled like this, since we had four hours more prep time than the early people?

Today in church one of the songs was "Gently Raise the Sacred Strain." When we got to the beginning of the second verse, I sang the words "Holy day, devoid of strife" and could not sing for the rest of the verse because I was seized by a fit of completely irreverent maniacal laughter. Pregnancy hormones? Maybe. Maybe not.

14 February 2014

Happy Valentines Day

I decided that starting February first I would go without treats until the baby is born, because my sister read somewhere that high sugar intake makes your skin less elastic. My Day of One Treat Prior to Delivery was to be only my birthday in April, because there is a Marie Callender Chocolate Turtle pie in the freezer which I bought on sale a few months ago for my birthday.

However, after a couple of weeks off of sweets, I decided to allow myself one treat day a month. So I get to have a treat today, one in the middle of March for the kick off of birthday season in our house, and one for my birthday.

For this auspicious occasion, I asked Alex to get us some See's chocolate. I will be eating one white key lime chocolate, and a caramel of his choosing. I have been thinking about these chocolates a lot, and I am excited that it is Valentines Day!

I got the children each a coloring book and one of the extra packs of Skittles from Henry's box, because his kindergarten class does not have 25 children. I was feeling pretty rotten as a mother last night, since I had got them nothing. Then I remembered those things were stashed away, and felt much better. 

I am not sure if it is sugar deprivation adjustment, but earlier this week I seem to have entered the fun hormonal part of pregnancy. Magically, every time the song above comes on the radio and I am in the car I burst into tears. Both times (yes, it has happened twice this week) I have been thinking about something else mildly troubling, but it seems to have been the song that set me to pull over and finish crying mode. May you all have a Happy Valentines Day and enjoy this beautiful song. It probably won't even make you cry. 

29 January 2014


I am currently making candied pecans in the oven instead of exercising. Maybe not my brightest choice for health in the new year.

I just read this post called "When Life is Burning Down," over at Segullah, and I really enjoyed it. My awesome neighbors lost their unusually bright, athletically gifted sports star twenty year old son to stinky old Leukemia this month, so I have been thinking a lot about mourning and grief.

I definitely need to improve in the mourn with those who mourn department. Listen to the song linked at the end of the post. It is beautiful.

23 January 2014

Solar Notes

We have been looking into a solar system for our house, and while we have sort of decided on "not yet, unless we win the Rocky Mountain Power lottery," a few people wanted to hear what we discovered in our searching, so here is my report.

Rocky Mountain Power is currently offering a lottery where you can enter, and if you win, they will fund a portion of your solar installation on a net metering system. I was talking to my dad about the RMP lottery, and he said he did not think he could enter it because Hurricane City has its own power company.

What is net metering, you ask? Traditionally Solar power has been very expensive because you had to store the power your panels collected in very expensive batteries, which had limited lifespans and requiring expensive periodical replacement. I don't know how new net metering is, but basically it means that instead of connecting your solar to batteries, you connect it to your power meter. This way, you can run your meter backwards in the daytime when you are producing a lot of power, to the point that if you get the right system, you can eliminate your power usage and electric bill by producing as much power for the grid as you take from it.

Net metering systems are significantly less expensive than battery systems. They have a significant positive impact on the environment because they decrease your carbon footprint.

One of our neighbors has a system, and he likes it. I asked about when we had the snow last month, and it did mean he had a small power bill that month. He told Alex that he could have swept off the panels but it made him too nervous to get on the roof in slick conditions. The solar guy we spoke with also said that the snow melts a little faster on the panels because they are black. Our neighbor's opinion is that you should get exactly what you need or slightly less, because if you produce more than you need, it does not mean you will get a check from the power company for the power you produced.

Is it ugly? I have seen a few solar systems that I thought were very visually invasive, and the newer systems are not so invasive. They look like a bunch of black flat screen tv's lined up on your roof.

How is it financed? The system that would take our net to about zero would cost around $30,000 to have someone else install. (If you are ambitious, it is also significantly less expensive to install a system yourself, but you'll have to ask Alex about that one) You can pay for an installed system any way you want, from full cash to a down payment + monthly payments or even financing all of it through a bank. The solar company we would use if we went this route gives you a "year of free solar." This means they calculate your average power bill over the course of a year, then if you have financed the whole system to a monthly payment, they pay you the difference between your previous average monthly power bill and the new payment. You are supposed to use these checks to pay down your system, and then after a year you can refinance your system and the new monthly payment should be close to or lower than your previous average utility bill.

Anything else we should know? One of the coolest recent improvements in solar technology is the proliferation of an item called a microinverter. This means instead of a big thing near your meter that gathers the power from your entire bank of panels, each panel has a tiny thing gathering and regulating power on its back. With one big inverter, if one panel was in shade or covered up, and gathering less sun as a result, all of the panels would gather the same amount, such as 50% or less. With microinverters, each panel functions at its maximum capacity. This is especially efficient for people who have part of their roof or panel in the shade for part of the day. Also, if one breaks, only that one goes out, and not your entire system.

I asked on facebook if anyone else was interested because our house needs around a 6 Kilowatt system, and if you and a friend can get to where you need 10 Kilowatts or more total, the solar company can get a volume discount which they pass to the consumers. Anyway, if you have questions about these systems, we really recommend Legend Solar. They have a facebook page if you want to see what the systems look like. Their guys came to our house and explained in detail what the system and costs were. They were very professional, and they seem like a great company.

These are the things that stuck out to me. Alex also knows a lot about it because he has really researched.

07 January 2014

Out of the Mouth of my Babe

In the last week Scott has said the following to me:

At dinner, when I had not been exercising or doing any other stinky activity, "Mom, I smell you. You need a change."

Then today, I was dancing along to a Jake and the Neverland Pirates song, and he said, "Stop that, Mom. I hate your dancing."

What will tomorrow bring? Probably just more endless delight.

Motherhood is pregnant with humility.

30 December 2013

Late December

We have been shaking the branches of this tree.
After the nuts fell on the tarps, we hulled them.

Next, we are going to order this useful nutcracker,

crack these babies, and enjoy their golden deliciousness.

I finished this little baby size plus sign quilt for a class on my long arm machine, and I think I will use it for my little mugwamp due in May.

I love this ridiculous floral back. Someone gave this fabric away at a quilt guild auction because they didn't want it anymore. Score.

Finally, we did not miss one of my favorite traditions, which is looking at Christmas lights with our cool holographic glasses. Pay no attention to the recycling that looks like hoarding. The corrugated bins were stuffed nigh unto overflowing, and we had to keep it an extra couple of days. Ugh.