Thursday, February 26, 2009

Crazy Times

February is a short month, and we had a lot crammed in it.

-A first birthday and the party to go with it
-Teething, troublesome ears, and 3 doctor visits which resulted in:
-Surgery for our 1-year-old to put tubes in
-And planning and making decisions for a life-changing situation, which isn't 100% official until tomorrow and won't be announced until Monday

I'm not stressed, but slightly overwhelmed. And when I feel overwhelmed I accomplish zilch, hence the lack of posts.

And now off to tend to an unhappy camper that just woke up and needs some food.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Feel Like a Maid

We've been making fast progress on the room we're turning into an office, but with that comes a lot of un-contained messes since all the doors are off. Normally during these projects, I spent the time helping Doug and completely ignored the mess throughout the house until we were finished stirring up dirt, dust, and trash. Now we have a little one that loves to explore and doesn't care if he has to crawl through an inch of dust to get to a fascinating tool or whatever is in his eyesight.

In an attempt to not have a white little ghost crawling around the house, I've been vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, or dusting almost every other day for the past few weeks. And there have been a few chunks of sheetrock and who knows what else that have been in and out of his little mouth.

So in that spirit, I thought I'd share some of my cleaning tips.

To save some money and cut back on the number of chemicals used around the house, I've been starting to use vinegar and baking soda as I use up the cleaners I have left. Some of them I learned from Mom or just over the years, but www.vinegartips.com has a lot of solutions for cooking, cleaning, and laundry using vinegar. My main uses so far are these:

*Toilet: dump about 1 cup of vinegar in and let it set for a while then scrub clean. It worked better for me than any other toilet cleaner and brush I've ever used.

*Microwave: dilute vinegar with water in a mug; place in the microwave on high for about 1 minute. All the cooked on, dried on splatters wipe right off.

*Drains: pour some baking soda down the drain, followed by warm vinegar. Let set for a little while then rinse - it cleans and deoderizes.

This also works for floor drains in your basement. A little while after moving in here, we realized we were having problems with water backing up in the basement. Not sewage, but the drain couldn't carry the water away as fast as it drained. We had it roto-rootered - twice - and still had problems. Doug tried the baking soda and vinegar on it, and maybe it's a coincidence, but we haven't had problems since. He probably used about a box of baking soda and over a gallon of vinegar, but that's cheaper than a plumber!

If you sew, I've also heard that polar fleece + warm water + vinegar will clean anything. The fleece holds up and washes well, and won't scratch any surface.

A solution of 1:1 of water and hydrogen peroxide can be used in the kitchen to spray down countertops and cutting boards to kill germs. I haven't tried this yet because I've been meaning to test if diluted peroxide can bleach stuff (even though my countertop is old, outdated and will be replaced sometime).

You can also use peroxide for a stain treater, using 1 part each of laundry detergent, peroxide, and water - spray and rub. I should test this on an old t-shirt. It would be nice to have a solution other than having Henry walk around with dingy looking shirts where he spills food or drools it out after I take his bib off.

And my best laundry tip has nothing to do with getting stains out or anything like that. I use one of those mesh laundry bags for Henry's little socks. The main reason I started using one was because our front-load washing machine has a rubber ring around the opening, and his little sock would get wedged and lost in the gap. But it has been nice to have his socks all together and not spread out through the load of wash, and even more helpful if I had two sizes of little socks to separate.

Off to clean some more...