Diego speaks

October 17, 2007

It took our little guy a while to crank out the words, but as his second birthday nears next month he’s picking up words every day, it seems. He was a little slow to develop his vocab, but he’s been busy mastering walking, running, ball kicking and throwing, climbing, etc. It makes me proud to see him kick a soccer ball like a little star, when some kids his age are still working on that. But getting him to put two words together has been trickier. I think these are all the words he says:

ball, bus, car, police, waffle, agua, keys, mama, dog, simpsons, movie, no, yea, scooter, stroller, bed, pumpkin, park, downtown, spider, bug, poo-poo, i did it, … and then he has his own made-up words for fire truck, blanket, outside, afuera, dadda (more like aba) and sister or itzul (didi, i think) and some other sounds he makes that when I play the guessing game turn out to be actual things.

I have some comfort in knowing that he understands a lot more than he speaks. When I ask if he’s hungry or if he wants to eat, he answers accordingly. Hopefully he gets good marks at his 2-year check-up with the doctor.

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saving energy

October 12, 2007

I’m a bit of a miser about certain things, and a spendthrift when it comes to others. Like, I won’t mind spending $300 on a coat if I think it’s going to last and fulfill it’s purpose (keeping me warm and stylish).

But if I have to spend an extra few bucks a month for text messaging on our cell phone, I flip. We recently rewarded the teenager with an unlimited texting messaging plan on our phones, for continued achievement on her grades. We did place a few conditions. At the first sign of dropped grades or bad teen attitude around the house when it comes to helping out, so goes the cell phone perk. But the only upside is that with this unlimited business I won’t have to check the phone every day to make sure she’s not texting in the 1,000s. Now how many of our “anytime” minutes she uses is another matter.

But what I really wanted to vent about is conservation. And it’s somewhat fitting, since my desire to cut back on our electricity and water consumption has less to do with being kind to the environment (which I do value, don’t get me wrong) but more to do with being cheap and wanting to save a few bucks every month.

I’ve employed the following electricity-cutting measures in our house:

Surge protectors:

Diego’s and Itzul’s rooms have all their electronics plugged into surge protectors that I turn on and off every day (or try to, if permission is granted to enter the teen’s lair). I’ve read this helps keep electronics from sucking up juice from simply being plugged in to an outlet, despite not being on. Anyway it gives me peace of mind.

those funky lightbulbs:

It’s been out with the old and in with the slightly more expensive but cheaper in the long-run and longer lasting bulbs that are corkscrewy in shape and emit the dullest light I’ve ever seen yet are supposed to save me some money somehow. So yea, we have these in almost all the light sources throughout the house. I don’t love them, but if they save me some change…

not so hot:

Don’t think I’ve ever used the “hot” function on our washing machine. Or “hot” on the dryer. We’re a cold water family when it comes to laundering, and I try to dry things on the medium (it seems kinder to the clothes). But with the energy consumption on the washer and dryer, we’re kind of screwed. We went with the second to cheapest washer and dryer, and although they are working great and serving our needs, I do wish we could have splurged a a couple thousand dollars more and gotten an Energy Star washer and dryer. Then we would really be saving water and juice (but be thousands of dollars more in dept – *sigh*).

We also finally adjusted our water heater to the suggested 120 degrees. And I’m keeping the furnace set at around 63 degrees, which I think might not be totally accurate and actually warming our house more. So maybe 60 would be more appropriate. But then would our pipes freeze?

Energy Star:

We did luck out on a couple of appliances, just not really by choice. The slick new television we did splurge on has that cute little blue sticker on it that indicates each time we sit on the couch to stare at its images, we’re saving energy! Our dishwasher, which came with the house, has the same Energy Star feature. Good thing, since we’re running that little guy every day now. Can’t say the same about our fridge, though. Like the washer and dryer, we opted for the cheapy model. With $1,000 more invested, we could have also gotten one of those blue stickers. Darn! But one thing I’m trying to do to save money on the fridge is keep the freezer well stocked, since I read somewhere that’s supposed to make it more efficient. So there.

And just for good habit, we’re doing our best to turn lights out when we leave rooms, using natural light as much as possible and unplugging things that aren’t on power strips (like the microwave, toaster, cell phone chargers).  My next goal will be to add some weight to the back of the toilet tanks so that less water is used with each flush. I learned this trick from living in California during endless droughts.

Anyone else have any tips, please pass them along.

oh, heroes

October 9, 2007

I’ve been getting frustrated with the slow-moving plot of the second season of Heroes. Last night showed signs of moving along at a more heart-pounding rate. It might be because we watched the entire first season on DVD, so we could easily watch three episodes in one night and get our fill of what was to come. But even having to wait from one week to the next for one hour chunks of entertainment, it still seems like we’re not quite getting around to the point. Here are my highs and lows from last night:

high:

– Peter getting to flex his powers again, like reading minds, moving large things with his mind, nearly killing someone. and of course coming back from the dead.

– Claire finding the tracking marks on her new beau, and realizing her father’s dark legacy isn’t quite buried yet.

–  Ando finding the 400 year old note in Hiro’s sword.

–  Sylar making his come-back, and flexing his badass evil muscles.

now the lows:

– Claire’s flying through the sky scene with the new boy. It felt kinda Disney or ABC family to me.

– Peter not snapping out of it and getting out of Ireland. What is with this guy? You just found out you can’t die, can read minds and can move things with your mind, and you’re still waiting around for something?

– Niki up to her old bad-mom tricks. Enough with this anticipation, just kill someone or whatever.

– the twins in Mexico. I get it, she can kill people and she needs her brother. Do we really need to see this same poin three episodes in a row? Get them to the U.S. already.

–  Hiro in ancient Japan. I’m tired of him being back there. This better be going somewhere big and splashy.