Saturday, August 28, 2010

Adventures in house cleaning

We have some nice double hung, tilt-in-to-clean windows in our house.
I love how much easier they make it to have sparkling clean windows, inside and out.

There was a nice cool breeze the other day so I thought it was great weather for window cleaning. The girls are always fascinated with the way the windows tilt in, and peeking at me from under the window as I'm cleaning it and just generally getting underfoot.

I was cleaning one of the living room windows when suddenly I had a problem.
I had the bottom pane down and cleaned, I just finished cleaning the top pane and I couldn't get the top pane locked back in place correctly.
I tried wiggling the window a little to hopefully get the lock to work and that just jammed the window in the frame.
Lovely.
I had about 12 inches of open unscreened space at the top and 10 inches of screened space at the bottom...and I'm still holding the bottom pane which is half-attached to the windowsill.

What could be worse than that? I try wiggling the window again. Quite stuck.
Shiloh is able to drag the little TV table over so that I can rest the heavy lower pane on that and focus on fixing the top.
I tell the girls to back way up and let me know if any bugs fly in at the top of the window, just to keep them out of the way...plus hearing the word "bugs" is a pretty good repellent for Shiloh. lol

I decide to undo the one lock on the top pane to see if that helps me fix it.
Next thing I find myself holding a huge window pane that is now only attached by one corner.
Aha, I made it worse!
I consider calling DH to come home and help me but I made the mess, I can fix it (plus my phone on the countertop in the kitchen, and quite out of reach).
I just need to think about the problem. Think, think, think.
Problem - I am holding my window instead of my house holding it!
Hmm.

Now for the technical talk, I hope you can follow along.
I notice that there is a bolty thing at the bottom of the window pane, and stuck in the side of the window sill is a bolty thing holder.
Ah, bolty thing came out of bolty holder when it was not supposed to.
So reason stands if I can get bolty thing back into bolty thing holder, then maybe the window will be fixable.
Deep breath.
A wiggle here and shift there and I finally get the pane back in. In locks place, both locks lock in place and I am finally able to slide the pane back to the top of the window.
Lower pane snaps in easily.
Ta da!

Make a note to clean window very carefully next time...and tape it to the window frame.

Perhaps I should delay scrubbing the bathtub....

Review - Clorox Fresh Care Washcloth/Towels

Clorox Fresh Care Towels

(This is not a paid review - just a Mom sharing a product that is working great for us.) :)

Per Clorox -
"Clorox Fresh Care towels are specially treated to resist the growth of odor-causing bacteria on the towel..."

You wash the cloths/towels in your washing machine with Clorox bleach which activates the antimicrobial protection.

I have only purchased the washcloths, not the towels...thus far.
I was having a problem with the fact that once I bleached my washcloths, they all faded to the same blah colors.
 Then DH would grab the washcloth I use for the countertops and use it to wipe the girls faces and hands because they looked identical after a bleaching. I even tried marking one cloth with a magic marker to make them easier to identify but the marker didn't last long either.
Another problem was that the regular washcloths would only last a few bleaching and then they were full of holes and ready to be tossed, and also the bleachings made the washcloths stiff and rough.

When I noticed the Clorox washcloths, they were on sale which was my initial attraction to them as I was skeptical about paying more for a "special" washcloth when I could get multi-packs of washcloths for just a dollar or two.
The Clorox cloths were soft and fluffy and the package said that it had "bleach safe" color, everything that I was looking for!
Granted the color on the cloths is minimal only a stripe of color on an otherwise white cloth.

I usually just soaked the washcloth in my sink with a bit of bleach and soap. This was done very frequently, every few days.
(as you can guess, I have a lot of spills to clean up!)
I always have two washcloths in my kitchen, one for the girls and one for the countertops and they are always bleached at the same time.

The Clorox washcloth has outlasted at least four of the regular washcloths!

I do wish that they had different colors, because I'm pretty sure DH is not going to notice such a slight difference as whether a washcloth has a blue or tan stripe when he goes to grab one.
So we are still using one Clorox cloth and one regular dishcloth in our house at the moment.

Ooh, I just found out that they make Clorox Fresh Care Sheets!
They sell them at Bed, Bath, & Beyond.
It would be nice to know that you could bleach your sheets and the color would be safe and that they'd come out of the machine in one piece.

Hmm, I wonder if they'll start making crib sheets...

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Beeping returns

This morning, once again, we were awoken to the sound of a smoke detector beeping its low-battery alerts.
Shiloh called from her room "Dada! Dada! I hear beeps again! I hear beeps!" ;-)
I guess since all the batteries were installed at the same time, they are all getting weak at the same time.
So DH pulls that battery out and we decided we should replace them all before it becomes routine to be woken by a smoke detector beeping.
But it is never so simple...is it?

A couple of the detectors continued their low-battery beeps even after DH replaced the battery. So I looked them over and inside the battery cavity it states that only about three different brands of batteries should be used and the detectors might not recognize other brands!
Of course the brand that we have on hand is not on the "approved" list, but DH was able to get the beeping ones to recognize the batteries and we put batteries on our shopping list.

I took Shiloh to the grocery store with me yesterday, while DH stayed home with napping Vivian.
It was nice to take to take a more leisurely shopping trip through the grocery store and even browse. Shiloh wanted to look at all the lobsters, even though she squished herself as far from the lobsters as she could get in the cart seat....and jumped a foot when I touched her while she was so intently watching the lobsters.
So brave, my girl. lol

I was just finishing up shopping when I noticed a person that I would rather avoid.
I don't know her well but she acts like we are closer than we are, which is awkward at best.
I turned a corner and there was her mother and daughter, another corner and there was her father.
Seriously it was like an awkward sitcom, I mean what are the chances?!

I was not trying to be mean, rather just trying to avoid stilted pleasantries and finish my shopping. I got my last items and headed to the express check-out line.
A little old lady got in line behind me and she was holding a couple items in her arms so I let her go ahead of me. She commented that Shiloh had beautiful hair and eyes...after which Shiloh kept saying "I have beautiful hair, Mama" and flicking her hair everywhere!
I was putting all my groceries on the conveyor belt, when who should get in line behind us...and start trying to talk to Shiloh, but the father.
I gave no audible sounds of dismay, at least I am quite certain that the little "eek" that went off in my brain did not utter from my lips.
I gave him a little polite smile and realized that he did not seem to recognize me.

I loaded my groceries and Shiloh into the car and headed to the sub shop to pick up the lunch that DH had requested.
I half expected to see lady and family at the sub shop since I was paranoid at that point.

As we headed for the door, Shiloh asked to go into the tiny Dollar Store just next to the sub shop so I agreed that we could look for just a moment.

Can you guess, by any chance, which entire family was shopping in this little tiny Dollar Store in the corner of nowhere? Anyone?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Hummingbird show

Early this morning Shiloh and I were awoken by the sound of the smoke detector beeping.
Not the alarm ringing, but this very loud shrill beep every so many seconds to inform us that the battery was getting weak.
It scared Shiloh but I explained what the beeping was and tucked her back into her bed and closed her door so the noise wasn't as loud.

I didn't hear any noise from Vivian so I left her be and told DH that one of the smoke detectors was beeping, and climbed back into bed.
Even with our door shut, the beeping was still too shrill and loud to fall back asleep so DH went out to find which one was making the noise and replace the battery.

A short while later he comes back to the room all frustrated because he can't find which detector is beeping (we have quite a few).
So I suggested a few rooms that *might* have a detector in them because I couldn't remember with my bleary morning brain.
He checked those rooms and still didn't find the source of the beeping!

Finally he opened Vivian's door and it was the alarm right over her bed that was going off!
She was so sound asleep that the alarm didn't wake her, and even DH changing the battery didn't wake her. She slept through it all straight to morning!
Vivi has been tired/sleeping a lot with teething molars and likely a growth spurt as well.
She's been sleeping a good 12 hrs at night (13hrs last night) with the addition of a 2 hr nap during the day.
 I even put her to bed before 7pm last night with some Tylenol because both girls were acting tired and she woke up only once during the night before the alarm started beeping.
I guess I don't have to tell Shiloh to be quiet while the baby is sleeping any more!

We have our hummingbird feeder attached to our dining room window and I just love it!
I can sit at the table eating or on my laptop and see so many hummingbirds.
I wish we had more than one variety in our area, but I'm amazed that getting to see them so close you can start to recognize the differences of the individual birds.
The adult male ruby-throated hummingbirds I haven't been able to tell a difference yet...or maybe we only have one coming.
We have at least three females, one of which has a very white chest and always pauses to make smacking motions with her beak while drinking.
There are also at least two juvenile males. I had to research pictures of juvenile males to make sure. They have a small red dot on their neck instead of the full red neck.
They also love our hibiscus bush that is near the feeder as well.
Here are some pics of different hummingbirds visiting our feeder this morning. :)



See what I mean about smacking her beak after drinking? lol

This one is pretty chunky!

Shiloh is laughing hysterically now, three hummingbirds (likely the three photographed) were just chasing each other away from the feeder in a pretty spectacular show in front of our windows. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Not Me, Monday!




"Not Me" Monday time again! The time to confess things that we have "not" been doing this past week.

When I cleaned out my freezer today, I did not find one, two, three, four empty plastic bags! No, of course my freezer is always neat and orderly!
My children did not try to help me clean out the freezer with comments of:
"This food makes my toes cold!"
"Ooh Strawberries!!"
"Popsicles! Can we have popsicles? I like this one! Pleeeeeeeeeease!!"
and the discovery of the popsicles was certainly not the end of their "help".

I was not apprehensive of cleaning out DH's section of the freezer. The fact that he is known to store entire fish (eyes and all, eek!) and various clawed crustaceans does deter me on my quest for a clean freezer! So I surely did not pile all of his items in one area so that He can go through them himself...
Nooo, Not Me!

After being unable to find good potatoes at the grocery store, I did not have a dream about not being able to find good potatoes at the grocery store.
No way, my dreams are far more exciting that that!

And to close, I definitely, positively, never vacuum my entire kitchen...with a dustbuster.
Nope, Not Me!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Extinct is Expensive

We went shopping at Wal-Mart yesterday. It was the same Wal-Mart that wouldn't accept Vivian's crib when it was recalled so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised at this newest error!
DH let Vivian pick out this dinosaur from the dollar bin in the toy department,
except that instead of costing $1, it rang up $36!
ahem!
They said they'd been having the problem all week but thought it was fixed...hmm.

Today didn't start out so great. DH started the coffee maker this morning, but forgot one crucial detail.
To put the pot in the maker!
But I've been there and done that before myself...

I had just finished cleaning up that mess, when Vivi spilled her milk down her chair, on the wall, on the carpet...and in the heating vent.
Shiloh said "Wow, Vivi spilled milk just like my dinosaur did the other day!" ha!
So we had to remove the vent cover and wash that, and I moved a bench over the hole in our dining room floor while the vent dried.

I had a few errands to run this morning too. I was starting to become concerned that all the stores are clearing out their sandals and already switching over to sneakers and winter boots in their shoe departments..
So we went to "Payless" this morning in hopes that I could find something there. I saw some pairs that I really liked at their online site, but I don't like the idea of buying shoes without trying them on first.

Ta da! I found sandals today. yay!
Payless is having their BOGO 1/2 price sale so I also looked for some other shoes for myself but didn't see anything I needed. I was looking at shoes for the girls and happened to notice that Vivian's size 5 sandals that she was wearing that very moment were actually too small.
So I found these super-cute sandals that I really, really, wish they made in my size.
I love them!

They were on sale too, and with the half-price deal they came to less than $5!
Pretty awesome!

DH picked the first of our pumpkins. They are pretty small, but orange already. I'm not sure if they count as a pie pumpkin or just decorative?

At least it's much, much better than my attempt at pumpkin-growing last year!
Remember my troll pumpkin? Eek, it's still scary!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Not Me Monday!



It's Not Me, Monday time yet again!
 The time to confess things that we have "not" been doing this past week.

During a particularly violent thunderstorm full of pelting rain, whipping wind, and an excess of thunder and lightning....
When I heard the rumbling sound of an 18 wheeler, I certainly did not become nervous that it was a sign of an impending tornado.
I did not think "What do I do? What do I do?" that is anyways, until the actual 18-wheeler drove by...

It was not my child that spilled orange juice in her carseat, on herself, and on the actual car seat this week. If that had happened then at least we were able to find that it all comes out in the wash.

I did not paint my 2 year old's fingernails for the first time...only to find myself scrubbing a streak of pink nailpolish off her face a short while later.
Nooo, Not Me!

My youngest child did not say while eating chili for dinner,
"Mmm tasty!" followed by an urgent "hot...hot...hot! Mmm..more?"

My fidgeting child did not roll off the (closed) toilet seat head-over-heels in an unfathomable way.
Her concerned and loving Mother did not ask mystified just how she had done that, instead of first asking her if she was okay...No, Not Me!




Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Craft time

I wanted to do a craft with the girls today.
Shiloh is not into "little kids" crafts. Every time I found an easy craft meant for her age range, she said "Okay, you do that one...I want to do this one!" and she'd point to a much more complicated project.

Finally I found a Martha Stewart craft project that Shiloh wanted to make and I thought I could simplify down to a (almost) 4 year old level.

The original "Paper Dragon" craft can be found on the Martha Stewart page here.

And my simplified kids version...

Shiloh's dragon before she painted it, when I was putting the brads in to make the dragon movable...Shiloh kept saying "don't hurt her! don't hurt her!" ;-D
She also said that the Dragon needed a belly button...

Vivian's dragon that I made for her while she was napping.
I later removed the second (pink) part of the body to make it easier for her hands to hold.



Painting her Dragon, Shiloh said "isn't it fantastic!"

Shiloh's completed Dragon. I took the picture and Shi said "I not sure Dragon smiling?"

Then she asked if we could put the pictures on my blog, because she likes my blog...and asked to see the picture of her elephant again. ;-)

When Vivian finally woke from her nap, she was first just confused as to why her Dragon didn't have eyes on the back side...
Then she started chasing Shiloh with her Dragon...
I should have made hers with something a little stronger than construction paper, I think.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Not Me Monday!

It's Not Me Monday time again!
The time to confess things that we certainly, positively, absolutely have (not) been doing this past week.

Since we have been home from camp for over a week now, there definitely are not still things that haven't been put away yet. Nooo...

I do not take random pictures and post them on my blog.
You know, say if a bird fell asleep on my empty birdfeeder while waiting for me to fill up the feeder, (which would not be empty anyways because I always remember to fill it up promptly!) then I would not take a picture of said bird and post it. Nooo, Not Me!


(he was starting to wake up, probably from hearing the girls excitement at watching him nap. ;-)

I have not been to too many stores, at least 7, looking for just the right sandals.
If I had been to that many stores unsuccessfully, I might then be concerned that I could not deny my husband's claim that I am too fussy in the choosing.
Fussy? Not Me!
So I definitely would not be walking around in high 80's temperatures in my sneakers because I could not find an acceptable pair of sandals...Nooo

I have not been pushing myself to finish Vivian's blanket this week (minus the pom pom tails) and now that it is almost completed, I do not find myself missing having my knitting as an excuse to watch "Dr. Oz"...you know, only to keep my mind busy while I knit. :)


No, Not Me!

I know there are dishes to wash, and bathrooms to scrub, and floors to vacuum, I would never use my knitting projects as an excuse to put those tasks aside.
So I am definitely not thinking about all the colorful yarn I've accumulated and getting ideas for my next project, and I am certainly not using that as an excuse to avoid cleaning out the cabinet under the kitchen sink..... Not Me!

Friday, August 06, 2010

An Elephant in my dish rack...

naturally...where else would an elephant dry off after its bath?



I never quite know where Shiloh animals are going to appear next.
I almost stepped on a rhinoceros while walking through our kitchen and there were many tigers and lions peering out of the windows of her doll house today. (hope I don't have nightmares!)

Shiloh also said that her elephant was tired today and needed coffee. (me too!)
Meanwhile Vivian fed her stuffed bunny a hamburger, which just seems so wrong..

We spent a wonderful few days at my parents' camp last week and also took a trip to the Zoo while we were there.
We really loved it and Shiloh now calls it "Grama's Zoo". Shiloh even dared to pet a donkey there...and on a different day, she touched a fish while we were out fishing!

Took the girls to a Mall yesterday and they had a pet store there. I'm pretty sure that Shiloh just thought it was a mini zoo.
She kept saying "okay, lets go see more animals now!" and asking me to take pictures. ;-D
The pet store and the water fountain were the main attractions for the girls.
We went into "Gap" and I helped Shiloh sound out G-A-P since she asked what it said on one shirt.

Well then, throughout the whole entire store, she kept saying "Look! That says Gap! Mama, Mama, Look! This shirt shirt says Gap!
Look! This, this says Gap!
I don't know what this says, but that says Gap!"

I bought the girls these pretty barrettes at the Mall. Shiloh loved them and thought they looked like fireworks so I couldn't resist. :)




I got a Popsicle mold...as in shaping mold, and not the fuzzy green kind of mold, while we were up at camp (they were surprisingly difficult to find) and I love it!
I've made pureed strawberries and lemonade ones and now we're enjoying Pudding Pops that Vivi can actually eat because the pudding mix is dairy-free and I made them with Lactaid milk!

Shiloh wasn't crazy about the Strawberry/Lemonade pops because she didn't like the strawberry seeds, but Vivian has loved and devoured both varieties with enthusiasm! :)

Vivi was starting to run me ragged with waking at night again. Hopefully I found that the problem is that she likes to be quite cold at night. I've been leaving her fan on high and it's cold enough that I'd have to have a blanket or something to be comfortable but she sleeps so good now.
The first night I left the fan on high, she slept for 12 1/2 hours straight through...when the night before she woke 3 or 4x!! She never really felt sweaty so it wasn't easy to find the solution.
Another thing that I think helps is that I started to put Vivi down at night about an hour earlier than Shiloh.
Shiloh falls asleep much easier (quieter!) with a later bedtime and also wakes later in the morning.
Shi was waking very early and I had caught her a few times calling across to Vivi's room in a loud stage whisper "Vivi! My baby are you awake! Let's play with our doors! Vivi-annnnn!"
They like to play and peek out from their bedroom doors at each other in the mornings, but I'm sure that Shiloh waking her so early was not a good thing for Vivi's rest.

(yes, I'm sorry Heather. I know I wasn't so good for your sleep either.
I guess it's a big sister thing!) ;-P