Friday, February 27, 2009


I am totally at a loss for words to describe our experience with Summit County.

Unreasonable was doing a heat-loss evaluation to make sure that our house would be efficient enough not to waste natural resources.

Ludicrous was adding another window to the bonus room to ensure we had enough daylight in the room.

Preposterous was having our engineers redraw our site plan to include contour lines and elevation of the garage entry...on our FLAT lot.

Outrageous was finding out we had to have a wetlands consultant come and map the wetlands that exist ONLY on our one acre (and paying her $2,500).

Obscene was paying a $100 application fee and waiting one month to have our petition heard before the board of adjustments.

Shocking was getting a bill from the county for advertising in the newspaper and sending out postcards to make a public notice of the hearing.

The only word I have left that seems to fit the situation is unconscionable, and even that does not seem strong enough.

Last night was our meeting with the board of adjustments to see if they would pass our application to build closer than 40 feet to the wetlands on our lot. No, we did not get approved. They tabled the application for another month to see if we can come up with another plan they like a little better. I can't get into the details of what we have done in the last month (since the application was made and before the board met to make a decision) to try to meet the demands of the county while still being able to build our house, but needless to say we thought that we had a great case to make when we explained to them that we cannot move our house in farther away from the wetlands and still have the sewer/septic system where it needs to be. I am not even joking when I say that they would like us to see if we could move the house even 5 feet. FIVE FEET! You have got to be kidding me!!!!!!!! Oh, I assure you they are not kidding.

I actually did not go to the meeting because I was teaching my aerobics and yoga classes (and because I was not sure I could go and NOT physically or verbally attack someone) but Rick had an interesting story to tell me when he got home. The application presented right before ours was finally passed...after ONE YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!! I guess that these people applied for a building permit to build a cabin up Weber canyon one year ago and have been going through much of the same garbage with the county as we have. They have gone so far as to buy the lot of land right next to theirs to try to meet all of the county's requirements. The problem? The front corner of the DECK on the cabin was 27 feet from the road on the front and 29 feet from the road on the corner (they have a corner lot). The county setback is 30 feet. When they finally passed their application last night, the woman broke down and started crying! Yes, I'm totally serious.

I wished that I had video documented this entire experience so that I could present it to anyone who thinks that Summit County is not completely and totally over-the-top out of control.

Wish us luck next month. Obviously we will need it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Store-Bought Mom

As I stood in the grocery store today, looking at the variety of Valentine's goodies, I came to an unpleasant realization; I am a store-bought mom.

This is what I would like to make for Luke to take to his class party to give to all of his friends. Beautiful homemade cookie pops with specialty messages for each student, teacher, and aid.

Instead, this is what I finally decided on after a few minutes of shopping. Little Debbie. At least they are cream filled.
I also thought of making something crafty, delicious, homemade, and totally wonderful for the women I visiting teach, but instead they are getting cellophane baggies filled with store-bought candy. Tied with a ribbon.

How did I come to this? What in my life has brought me to this point...the point of buying Little Debbie? Kids. Time. A part-time evening job. LIFE! I really do have good intentions of grandeur, but eventually I settle. Here is just an example. Noah was going to a little Valentine's party at the library today where he would be trading valentines with all of the other little kids at story hour. I've know about it for a week, and thought that I was on top of things when I got out the valentine cards the other day for Noah to sign. I even bought some little candies that he could help me staple onto the cards. I thought it would be a great "preschool" activity. Five minutes into it, I gave up. Noah was finding more enjoyment in erasing his writing than actually doing any writing. It was also time for Elijah to go down for a nap so we ditched the valentine activity and I turned on a movie for Noah while I put Eli to sleep. This morning as I hurriedly grabbed our library bag I realized that we never finished our cards. So I stuffed the box of cards into the bag and headed out of the door. Once we made it to the library (on time for the first time in months) I quickly wrote Noah's name on all of the cards while the kids listened to the books.

Someday I may get my act together. Someday I may live the dream I have always had. Someday I will be the mom who sends the best, most impressive treats to school you have ever seen. Until then I will have to settle for Disney cards with out any candy, glitz, or glam, just Noah's name...written by his store-bought mother.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I've created a monster!

Sometimes as a mother I feel like Dr. Frankenstein when he shouts, "it's alive!". It seems that despite my best intentions I often create my very own monsters. Like when Luke was little and refused to feed himself. From the time he started eating solid food I always feed him, and I kept doing it because it was faster and cleaner if mom did the job instead of letting the little one. Then one day when he was 3 years old I wanted him to feed himself and he wouldn't. Yep, a monster. I've created another with Noah who at 3 1/2 he won't go to the bathroom by himself. Again it has been cleaner and faster for me to help him and make sure that things get done the right way (my way) then to let him do it himself. Now no matter what, he won't go into the bathroom and go by himself because he wants me to help. Yep, another monster.

The latest monster I have created is Elijah, the swaddle monster, and Momma's boy. I started swaddling Eli the very day we brought him home from the hospital, and now he cannot sleep at night unless he is tightly wrapped up. A couple of weeks ago I tried to just lay him in bed and let him sleep with blankets on him. Lets just say that we spent two nights with a screaming baby. Finally Rick just said, "please just swaddle him and lets get some sleep." I guess as long as Elijah has nice mission companions who will take the time each night to swaddle him, he will be fine.

I have also completely spoiled this boy so much and spent so much time holding, playing, and kissing him that he now refuses to be put down. He doesn't really even like anyone else to hold him. He pretty much doesn't even like his dad. This is Elijah the other day when I made him sit and play while I ate lunch and did the dishes. Here he is at 35 minutes and counting of pure screaming. I don't mean crying or whining. I mean SCREAMING! I get so frustrated with him crying if I am not holding him, and my mom just reminds me that he is what I have made him!!!!

Here's hoping I can tame my little monsters!!!!!