Tuesday, December 14, 2010

baby, it's COLD outside!

Just so you don’t think I’m lying about how cold it is, check it out:

This is the little thermometer thingy in our house. Notice it was FOURTEEN DEGREES outside this morning. But no snow!! Not even any ice! This is truly unfair. Plus, with the 20mph winds, the weather people said it officially felt like 6 degrees. I can’t even comprehend temperatures like that. I’m a Georgia girl. This does not compute.

This one shows what Matt’s get-up looks like in the morning when he’s making our lunches. It is slightly frigid in our house, so his leather bomber jacket is absolutely necessary.

So I’m wondering…what does everyone set their thermostats at? I can’t decide what a reasonable temperature is. Here’s what we’ve been doing: When we’re home and up and about (ie: 6-10 pm on a weeknight) we set it at about 66. And we feel extremely cold, even though it says it’s 66. We do have really high ceilings in the living room and master bedroom, and I suspect all the heat goes straight to the ceiling, which is—strangely—not where we are hanging out. Then we have this little space heater we usually have on in the bathroom (if you’re IN the bathroom, not just all the time) and in the morning we put it in the kitchen/dining room. When we sleep, we set the thermostat back down to 61 or so. This isn’t a problem, we stay plenty warm when we’re asleep, but it does make you pretty miserable to get out of bed in the morning. And then when we’re at work (or otherwise out of the house for 3+ hours) we set it to about 62.

I guess I just feel confused because except for when we’re sleeping, I feel like it is always cold. But yet—the heater is always running. I mean, if it’s 20 degrees outside all day, the thing has to really work even to keep the house at 60 degrees. So I am already envisioning a very very expensive electric bill this month. Would it make a big difference if I kicked it up to like 72 when we’re home, just so we could maybe feel slightly comfortable? Should I be knocking it down even lower when we’re gone from the house all day? Should we just try to be gone from our house as often as possible so that we can mooch off other people’s and stores’ and our gym’s heat?? These are the questions that plague me.

Luckily, it’s supposed to warm up to a much more normal temperature range by late this week. “Normal” in Georgia is mid-50s (during the day) for this time of year, and that’s sounding pretty good right about now. Also, we’ll be heading to my parents’ house on Wednesday (staying through Sunday), so I think that I’ll just set the heat at like 52 or something for the entire time we’re gone and that will save us some money. Is 52 fine? I feel like I’ve heard you shouldn’t cut it off altogether or your pipes may burst or something. But what if it isn’t going to be that cold outside? Can your pipes still burst? Am I completely over-thinking this whole thing?

Bills are stressful enough without getting some $300 electric bill to push me over the edge. I have to over-think things like this! But let me know if you have any enlightenment for me, or if you just want to share what temperatures you keep your own houses at. I’m very nosy like that.

So speaking of going to Augusta…my sister’s wedding is this weekend! Crazy, right? I’m looking forward to it. I haven’t seen most of my extended family since my own wedding, three and a half years ago, so that should be fun. My sister’s wedding should be pretty much the exact opposite of mine in every single aspect. Mine: June, morning, short & sweet reception because I hate being the center of attention and couldn’t wait to get outta there. Hers: December, nighttime, long alcohol-and-dancing-and-karaoke-filled reception…basically everything I tried to avoid in my own, ha. It’s cool though. That’s why we didn’t have a joint wedding. Among other reasons.

The only thing I’m dreading is the seemingly-innocent “So, are you guys thinking about having kids yet?” question that is bound to come from distant relatives and friends not-in-the-know. I’ve yet to find the proper response to that question…since most people are probably not really interested in a two-hour dissertation about the specifics of all our medical conditions…but yet, I need to get the point across that any “advice” that is along the lines of well, just relax and it’ll happen! or you’re young! or You should think about adopting, lots of people get pregnant once they start adopting! is completely un-wanted and will be probably not be received with much grace.

So let’s role-play a few different possible responses I could have for the above scenario:

So, yall thinking about starting a family soon?

1. No. (It’s a lie, but at least it ends that conversation. Hopefully. I mean, would you think anyone would really want to go into a debate from there?)

2. Yes, we’re trying! (And leave it at that? What if they ask “for how long?”…then do I go into it? Also, what if they respond to this, my seemingly optimistic response, with the old “oh, it’ll happen for you soon!”? Then do I just slap them across the face and run off crying, screaming “YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!!!!”)

3. See, the problem with ALL of my imagined scenarios is that they all end sort of like the one above. With me looking like a raving (not to mention infertile) lunatic. But let’s keep going here.

4. Yes, go here and you’ll know all you ever wanted to know. (Hand them a business-type card with this blog address on it. Then we have a roomful of people sneaking off to the side/the bathroom to read my blog on their iPhones while at my sister’s wedding. This is looking bad for the sisterly relationship. I can’t help it if my whiney blog is more exciting than your reception, sister!! Kidding. But what if that happened??)

5. Yes, we’ve been trying for two years and have exhausted every medical avenue except for in-vitro, so we’re waiting on a miracle and/or $10,000 for IVF or adoption, whichever comes first. (This might sound a little rude, but hopefully it could get the point across that I don’t want any random “medical” advice they’ve heard somewhere before, I don’t want any anecdotal stories about people they sorta know, and I know what I’m doing and talking about. And also that I’m completely open to any cash or checks they want to donate to the cause. I certainly do want that point to get across!)

So far none of these responses are feeling like winners to me. What do you think I should say? Or should I just avoid the whole thing by dancing like a raving lunatic all night long so that no one can ever catch me standing still long enough to think I might want to chat it up about stuff like this? (Or, for that matter, about any number of topics I hate making small talk about, such as my job and politics.)

Actually, maybe I should just carry around a small card that has a list of small-talk topics I DO want to talk about. It would look something like this:
The weather.
Reality TV.
Couponing and anything else related to stretching a dollar.
My dog.

See, short, sweet, and surely everyone can talk about something on the list, right?

Okay, well, I think I’ve overwhelmed you enough today with my obsessions and insecurities. If you have any emotional energy left, please feel free to comment about a) your heat-thermostat situation, b) what I should say to people about our failed attempts at making babies, and c) anything else that may come to your mind…like about how TOTALLY PUMPED you are/were that an all-girl team FINALLY won Amazing Race!! Or how you can’t WAIT to cheer on Ada on tonight’s Biggest Loser finale! You know, the important things in life.


  1. I love how my mind works like yours. I knew when you said wedding with extended relatives that the baby question would be in the forefront. Here's a possible response that'll get them to never ask again:

    Question: "So when are y'all planning on having kids?"

    Answer: "Anytime really, that's why we practice so much."

    It'll stop them dead in their tracks! Either because they don't get it, or because they feel awkward AS THEY SHOULD!

  2. Where was Big Jen when I could have used an answer to this question?!?!?!?! Seriously, humor is usually a good way to go. I would hope people wouldn't ask to much after "yes we want kids and wer're trying" but that probably will come up from someone who thinks they are close enough. If they do, just go "oh I love this song" and go find (or turn to) Matt to dance!

  3. OMG, well, we keep ours at like 76 and it's only around 30 at night, and even then I still wander around feeling cold sometimes. You and Matt are like wilderness people being able to survive in such frigid temps (inside and out). Because this is Florida we don't have crazy bills in the winter, but in the summer I'm pretty sure we DID get a bill that was close to $300 one month and I just curled up in a ball and cried at the injustice.

    I can't wait to stalk pictures of Sarah's wedding on FB.

  4. (This is Marshall)
    I'd try leaving the thermostat on 67-68 all the time. When you let it get so cold during the day, it take's that much longer to get the temp back up to 66. Because everything, not just the air is getting that cold; furniture, bed, blah, blah, blah. And you might find it runs less. Y'alls house is a lot like ours. We keep ours on 69-70 most of the time and run a little space heater during the day, and our bill was in the low 100s last month. Not TOO bad...but still not ideal...:)

  5. So sorry you are even having to anticipate these questions- I can totally relate! I will be praying for grace for you as you figure out how to best answer them... let me know if you come up with any good responses :) Generally I go with the TMI approach and share waaaaaaaaay more than anyone really wanted to know!

  6. We keep ours at 68 during the day (Tato and Anahi are home all day) and bump it up to 69 at night because Anahi sleeps with no covers on (she starts off with them on and either throws them out of the crib or either kicks them off). I think I might agree that you are putting it to far down during the day so it's hard to get the house back up to a good temp...also, if your heater is running all the time you might want to check both the air filters (the disposable and the permanent one) our a/c ran a lot and we just hadn't cleaned the filter out

  7. I like mine around 69-70, but I get cold easily, so take that with a grain of salt. I agree that leaving it where you want it is the best plan--no exhausting the heat/AC trying to go up and down.
    I'm so excited about seeing you this weekend!! I promise--no awkward baby talk if you return the favor by NOT asking me about college. :) We can discuss House Hunters International and the joy of trying new recipes.

  8. I don't think my heating information would be very helpful because I think our houses are totally different (we have no high ceilings) and I live in a different town so I'm sure rates are different. However, in the spirit of the discussion, we cut ours down to somewhere around 65 (this is obviously how I know my heat and your heat are different, because 65 is almost unbearable in our house) when we aren't home, then we bump it up to 72 while we're up and moving and back to 70 while we're sleeping... maybe you should just compare degree differences instead of actual degrees?? ANYWHO...

    I don't know if this answer is helpful, but when we were answering that question, we said "We want to wait 5 years" (a date that is close enough to satisfy but far enough away to not ask more questions, or at least it was in our case)... (we were at that time only 1 year into married life...so I don't know if it would work at 3 year, its worth a shot...maybe..possibly!)... I'm really bad at situations because I'm the overreacter to!

  9. so.....just hang out with me and James the whole the wedding....and avoid small talk like the plague!
    I don't know if that is a realistic thing to do but you can sure try!

  10. I'm late, since we were out of town, but I'm sure you found an answer to that question if it came up.

    We leave our thermostat somewhere between 68-72 during the winter and our bills are always less than our summer bills (which are way better than our summer bills in Georgia.)

  11. Not to go against what everyone else is saying (ok I guess I am), but check out this site from the government. They talk about lowering your heat at night and when you're away, and the misconception that the heat has to work harder to get back to the original setting. http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12720

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