Monday, February 28, 2011

getting close

At Jill's last doctor appointment, we learned that Janny can come any time now. She's very unlikely to wait past her due date of Mar 13.

I felt like the last few months slogged by as we dealt with winter and the extra rest that pregnancy demands. But now I'm getting excited. I keep waking up when Jill gets up for her frequent 'nose powdering sessions', thinking this might be it.

Clara isn't resting on her laurels until lil' sis shows up. She's taken a fancy to playing with water (we put her in our shower so that she can pour with abandon) and reading books. The best part of reading books is that she demands to sit right on our lap for reading time. She doesn't sit still for much else.
Her 7th tooth arrived this week. She enjoys eating with her own spoon. She get a surprisingly good fraction of food in her mouth each bite. Also note that she likes water bottles/cups.
We have some wonderful friends. Since we're at often home not doing much, Neal and Christine have been coming over to hang out with us. Clara enjoys the attention.
Finally, a note about peas. I hated peas as a kid but rarely had to eat them since my mom also hated them. Well, peas are easy to cook, and Clara doesn't mind them so they are often on the menu. And you know what? They taste good. The texture is still odd, slightly mushy after the initial crunch, but they have a pleasant sweetness. Didn't they used to taste like dishwater? Has modern breeding improved them? Have I changed?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

pricey conservation

We have been living with new insulation in our house for over a month now, so now seems like a good time for a review. To be brief, we love it.

The full story is more complicated of course. Since the weather is never exactly the same month to month, I'll not worry that we've only one gas/electricity bill has come since the install and that bill had 3 weeks prior and one week post. That bill was 240, and the previous (including a week of visitors) was 260.

Let's say we save $50 per month for 6 months out of the year (4 cold and 2 hot). That makes $300 per year.

Our total cost was about $5500. Here's where I need a finance expert to tell me the pay back time frame (including interest, expected cost increases of gas/elec, value added to the house, etc.). In any case, I imagine that more than 10 years will pass before it is 'paid for'.

I'm aware of a number of cases in which improved efficiency leads to greater resource consumption. On a related note, I have kept our thermostat at the same temperature as before. The stat is located in a narrow hallway right next to the closet containing the furnace and water heater. I suspect that the temperature in the rest of the house is around a degree or 2 warmer than previously. I would probably lower the setting to make up for this, but the womenfolk would likely protest.

Mercifully, we have a warming trend this week. Now, we're off to lunch in our car. I'll crank the heater as needed.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

back in baby blue

It turns out that we did survive the snowstorm. Rumor has is that we got 4" sleet and 4" of snow. Shoveling it was very hard as evidenced by my broken shovel. It can't be replaced at the moment because there is a midwest-wide shovel shortage. Too bad because there is another 4" of new snow this morning.

I hope that you didn't mind the cliffhanger ending to the previous post. Here is the big reveal. Clara basks in the glory of Baby Blue Bicycle's baby blue bicycle:
And here's the profile view:
Jill's Trek, once darkish blue (see top picture), then baby blue (see right panel), then orange (hmmm, maybe in the annals) is now baby blue. Don of Creative Dust Powder Coating in nearby Villa Grove did a great job. The cost was $150 including stripping the orange, and he personally delivered it 9 days after receiving it.

Jill won't be riding it until at least a few weeks after the new baby comes, which is just as well given this very white winter.