Monday, January 23, 2012

Grout=0, Me=1

Nothing beats those beautiful new tiles when they are first laid ... and let's not forget about that gorgeous grout keeping everything together and still in its original and intended colour.

Fast forward a year (or five) and a few spills later and it's hard to remember what shade the grout used to be. At least that is the case in my house. Perhaps you are all perfect, scouring cleaners and have impeccable floors and sparkling grout.

It starts out with a simple observation of how much darker a certain area of the grout is than another i.e. around the sink in the kitchen or with a realization that you can't keep kidding yourself that the white grout in your shower is not yellowing slightly (A LOT!!) and then it starts to really bug you, and then one day you decide to do something about it. This means war!

Before you run out and get some commercial-grade cleaner like I did with so many warnings, it's amazing it doesn't just eat right through the plastic bottle its packaged in, let me share with you a little secret .....

Yup, that's it. Way better results, way safer (i.e. did not have to evacuate my house and fear for exposed skin and lungs) and you can involve your wee ones.
No Treehouse for this kid, only scrubbing the kitchen floor

These pictures are not taken with the best quality camera but I think you'll get the idea. This is a picture of some of the tiles beforehand:

 And here are the same tiles after some minor scrubbing and not much time at all.

My son lost interest after about 20 minutes so I didn't quite finish so here are some more results showing my 1/2 cleaned and 1/2 still dirty grout.

I was so excited to share this because I really couldn't believe how effective these natural, non-toxic products were. If they work so well, why does the other stuff even exist?

Do yourself a favour, if you've got some filthy grout issues - go natural!! (and let me know what you think)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sure To Buy You A Few Extra "You" Minutes

I have been scheming about this activity for awhile now knowing that it would be received well by the boys and definitely occupy their energetic needs for at least five WHOLE minutes.

Simply send your kids outside when there is snow on the ground (could be a challenge this winter) and tell them if they play really well you have a surprise for them in 10 minutes.

At the 10 minute mark, give them each a water gun filled with food-coloured water and send them away from the house and patio furniture.  The will love it!

Caution: kids may come inside asking for multiple colour changes! Assure them that they must use all of their current water supply up before the colour gets switched. Dark or older snow suits would be best as I'm not sure how or if the food colouring would wash out of lighter colours.

Have fun!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Outdoor Adventures and Bathroom Breaks

This is the first year that my boys are both old enough, mitten compatible enough and able to go outside in the winter by themselves (yahoo!).

I wanted to build our routine so that most days they would have some outdoor time on their own. We started with a few tantrums, but I held my ground that they had to go out on their own and "have some fun," the alternative being completing their tantrum, fully clothed in their snow suits in our sun room. A few cracker bribes and a weak soother moment pre-Christmas were also a part of our journey.

We are doing better and what I have learned this week sort of reminds me of the classic Robert Munsch book, "I Have To Go," where a young boy gets all dressed up in multiple layers only to confess his bladder needs relief.

Yesterday, it was my fault, no visit to the facilities before going outside, but today, I was going to outsmart their bladders with a mandatory trip to the washroom before we even approached the snow pants. Feeling confident and wiser, I sent them on their way.

For the first 10 minutes we were okay, but then there was the "I have to go poo" lip reading through the window and the "... pee ... snow" from my two-year-old. (Frustrated yesterday and not wanting to get them undressed for the third time in five minutes, I assisted an outdoor snow pee - much more difficult than a summer tree pee.)

I thoroughly enjoying a few minutes inside while watching my little ones through the window in spite of our many potty breaks.  Today was a record breaker - 45 minutes on their own. I swear, they should forget The Bachelor and just film a stay-at-home Mom all day with all of their shenanigans (no, they don't already have a show like this ... I mean a REAL real "housewife").
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