Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tackling Mildew Stains

If you're like me, you hate cleaning the bathroom. I really hate cleaning my bathroom and I will admit I don't clean it as I should. Not to say that my bathroom is filthy. I wipe down the sink every day. I scrub the toilet bowl as needed between full cleanings. My weak point is the shower. I figure, Hey, it gets cleaned every day, multiple times. Unfortunately that's not really true, and I know it. So while the rest of my bathroom is passably clean, the tub area doesn't get cleaned thouroghly enough. The tub itself is easy. Even the tiles are easy. The hard part is the grout between the tiles where mildew grows! And that was becoming a problem in my shower. I had mildew stains in the corners where the tiles met the tub and there were some stains around the faucet and knobs. I use Fantastik in my bathroom and that does just fine for most of it, but it wasn't doing anything for the mildew, even with hard scrubbing. I needed something new.

I was clipping coupons from the paper one Sunday when I found $1 off X-14 Mildew Stain Remover. The ad claimed it would work without scrubbing. Well, this was just what I needed! I was going to buy some type of mildew remover or other bathroom cleaner anyway, so $1 off was incentive enough to buy this specific brand.

I decided to put it to the test after I had cleaned the bathroom in the usual way (including attacking the mildew with Fantastik and scrubbing as hard as I could). I read the instructions first and there were the usual precautionary statements: use gloves if you have sensitive skin or use for prolonged periods, use in a well ventilated area, avoid inhaling, avoid eye contact, may discolor clothing and other fabrics, et cetera. The instructions themselves are exceedingly clear: "TO REMOVE MILDEW STAINS: Spray, wait until stains disappear, and rinse." Can't get much easier than that!

I sprayed it on every mildew stain in my shower. I didn't know how much time it would take for the stains to disappear so I set my kitchen timer for 10 minutes. For you moms I took before and after pictures of a small corner.


Does it look like brand spanking new grout? No. Does it look remarkably better? Absolutely! In fact, when my husband came home from work and got out of the shower he said "Hey, the shower looks really good." The other thing he noticed right away, and my only complaint about the product, was the lingering smell. The fumes are pretty strong with this and I really wouldn't recommend actually sitting in the bathroom and waiting for the stains to fade unless you have an open window AND an exhaust fan. Other than that, I'm very happy with the way it worked! The bottle does say that heavy buildup may need two cleanings, and I do plan on trying it again the next time I clean the bathroom to see if we can take "remarkably better" to "like new." Until I do though, I'm satisfied that the mildew isn't an embarrasment to me anymore. 
Want to try it out for yourself? Click here to download your own $1 off coupon!

* I was not given this product to review, and I did not receive any compensation for this review.  This is strictly me, buying something myself, and sharing my opinions with readers.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Day of School

Today is the first day of school!  Matt got his haircut last night, as you can see.  While I was running around getting his backpack and everything ready last night I realized that his tag was lost.  The school had mailed a tag to be pinned to clothing or backpacks for the first week or so of school.  It had the child's name, teacher, room number, and (most importantly) bus information.  I HAD IT already pinned to his backpack, but Lucas must have ripped it off.  So this morning I called the school and left a message to get all the information.  I got a call back, got what I needed, and printed out a new tag for him.  Minor disaster averted!
Then we got a knock on the door from one of Matt's friends who lives upstairs from us.  Picture time!

Matt and Mehkai

I couldn't find Luke's shoes in the rush out the door so I had to hold him on my hip the whole time, which really messed up my picture taking intentions!  Half the time I had the camera on record mode without realizing.  I took 3 horrible videos instead of taking a bunch of great pictures :(  But I did get a few.
Chrissy, Ivan, my Matthew, and Mehkai

Have a great day, Baby!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Not the First Day of School

So, today was supposed to be the first day of school for my Matthew. Due to Hurricane Irene though, the school district thought it would be prudent to close school today, and sent out calls to all the parents telling them so on Friday. At first I was kind of bummed, and also felt sorry for Matt. I also kind of thought that I would get a call either yesterday evening or early this morning saying that the decision had been reversed and that school would be open after all. Nope.

Last night it really hit me. I thought I was ready to send Matty off to *full day* kindergarten. Even though he'd never been in daycare or preschool, our elementary school offered a kindergarten readiness program that he took the bus to 3 days a week for three hours a day during the month of July. He loved it! And I appreciated the time I had with Lucas (and the convenient nap Lucas took during that time when I got TONS of housework done!). After that rehearsal, I knew we would be fine. Matt would happily go to school and I wouldn't blubber at the bus stop. I wouldn't worry and wonder and look at the clock all day on his first day of school. Last night though, I said to myself Oh my God, Matt was supposed to go to school tomorrow! I'm not ready for this! I realized I was *grateful* to the school for closing today. Even now, I keep thinking there's still time, but school WILL start tomorrow. Even though he'll have half days tomorrow and Wednesday, and even though school is out Friday and Monday for Labor Day, he will be out of my care this week longer than he's ever been.

I'm so proud, and so worried. The anxiety just kind of snuck up on me and kicked my feet out. I keep telling myself that he will be fine, that I should embrace this opportunity to spend time with Luke, that there will be plenty to keep me busy. And all of those things are true. I just have to convince myself of that.

In the meantime, I DO have lots to do. I thought I was more prepared, but I still need to organize the kiddy desk in the boys' room into a homework ready surface. I need to sort out which crayons and markers to throw out, which to keep. I need to sort through Matt's clothes and decide what to save for Luke, donate, or toss. I need to inventory Luke's clothes and figure out what he still needs to get him through the fall. All that right there will take me the whole day probably, when you figure in the constant interruptions. And I still need to cut Matt's hair! <-- Evidence of my denial for sure! I would be embarrassed to send him to school with his helmet head hair! I should have taken care of that last week!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Oh, the weather outside is frightful....

Now, let me first say, I have been through some weather!  I remember floods growing up on the coast of New Jersey that kept my dad stuck at work for days.  My baby (at the time) brother was only a few days old when we had to evacuate from one of those.  There were epic blizzards; I remember one in my senior year that kept us all out of school for a solid week!  Countless Nor'easters.  When my SO and I moved to Florida a tornado ripped through and dropped a tree straight through our second bedroom....  We'd been there about two weeks.  And plenty of hurricanes.
So a couple of days ago I added earthquake to my 'Natural Disasters Survived' list.  That was definitely the most bizarre experience I've ever had.  I had no idea what was going on!  I live in the "basement" of my apartment building, which means that half of my place is underground.  So when everything started shaking I knew rationally that it wasn't the kids going crazy shaking the house down, but it was my first thought nonetheless.  My second irrational thought was that the maintenance guy was taking out a tree (he'd been trimming branches at the time) and the roots were under the building.  With the size of our building, and especially our location in it, neither theory made sense.  I didn't learn until a few hours later that it was an earthquake, and, for the east coast quite a large one. 
Now they're saying this will be the worst hurricane to hit the east coast in decades!  My mother-in-law called asking if we've got enough water, batteries, eggs, etc.  There are so many other things I'd rather do with my weekend than spend it stuck in the house with no power.  I'm not sure how hyped up I should be over this storm.  We do live right at the intersection of the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers, so flooding could be a serious concern.  I guess we'll just have to weather it out, eh?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kindergarten Orientation

Tonight was kindergarten orientation for my baby boy!  I can't believe how big he's grown in such a short amount of time!  And on Monday he'll be getting on that bus and leaving Lucas and me home alone.  Thankfully the first two days of school are only half days.  Come Wednesday though, he'll be attending school full time.  Ours is the only elementary school in the district to offer full time kindergarten.  I think it will be a good thing. And Matthew is very excited.

It's been so long!

I haven't posted since Mothers' Day, am I a lazy, inconsistent woman or what?  Well...  I guess the best way to go is to just jump right into it, eh?