Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Swiffer Sweepervac Review

Today as I was Swiffering the floor, I thought I ought to tell the blog about my Swiffer Sweepervac. I can't tell you if I think it's worth the cost, because mine was a gift from my step-mom, but I can tell you that I like it.

If you are unfamiliar with the Swiffer concept, google it, because I keep trying to describe what it looks like and I'm failing utterly. More than likely though you've seen an ad for one or seen them in the grocery store. By and large I think the original Swiffer is junk.* It will grab hair and dust pretty well, but larger particles of dirt end up being pushed around, not picked up. The Swifvac builds on the concept of a dust collector by adding a low powered vacuum to the end of it and a tiny canister to catch what it collects.

Before getting the Swifvac I was using an old broom (that really needs replacing) to clean the downstairs. We have 2 rooms of Pergo, tile by the front door, and linoleum through the kitchen and laundry room. The sweeping was always a horrid chore because all the cat hair just flew around and landed back down once you were done. Trying to get the swept material off the floor into the garbage was yet another challenge, and then the dust barely clinging to the end of the broom bristles that wouldn't come off in the trash can where I wanted them, but instead clung on until over a clean bit of floor...

I'm pretty sure the floor is getting cleaner than when I swept manually, since the fine particles don't just get to fly around and land back down behind me. It's definitely easier to manage, and that means that it gets done more often which is a good thing.

I am frugal, and a bit environmentally concerned, so I don't buy the disposable Swiffer cloths to use with it. We took an old t-shirt and cut it up so that I have several reusable cloths to use. The t-shirt does really well with the fine dirt, dust, and cat hair. I recommend cutting up a t-shirt over all the other reusable cloths I found when I googled for options. Most of them are far more time consuming, and probably don't work much better.

My only real complain is the battery life is not great. By the time I'm nearing the end of the downstairs it is running out and the suction plummets down from "not great" to "ha ha yeah right". My work around is to rotate which room I start with, and make sure I go after the dirty spots first saving the lower traffic areas for last.

When they gave me the Swiffer they also gave me a box of the wet wipes for "mopping". I put that in quotes because it's basically like wiping down your floor with a baby wipe. It does remove some dirt, even after first using the dry cloth, but you're leaving something behind too. It doesn't do anything for removing a drip that has dried from the night before, and I'm only using them because we have them. I wouldn't ever recommend buying them. Once we run out I'll have to investigate reusable wet pads, I'm thinking maybe one of the shammys I found when we moved might work well. So far it seems that if you want a mopped floor then you have to mop the floor. I have to tell you that I like mopping even less than I like sweeping.

All in all if you have a moderate amount of smooth uncarpeted floor that you need to sweep regularly then I highly recommend getting someone else to buy you a Swiffer Sweepervac. If you'd like to test drive one, you are more than welcome to come over and clean my floors sometime. Just let me know in advance so I can make sure the battery is charged.

*Statement based on performace of the Swiffer Sweepervac when it has run out of batteries, and is relying on the Swifferness of itself to finish cleaning the floor.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sleep Is For The Weak

... and boy are we weak lately. As Jeff put it earlier today, there is nothing worse than peacefully sleeping while your baby peacefully sleeps, only to have an alarm go off so that everyone can wake up and get pissed off in the middle of the night for a feeding.

At the doctor's today Max weighed in at 9 lbs 6 oz, well above his birth weight (50th percentile for a 1 month old which he will be in just a few more days). The doctor was very pleased with this gain and gave us the go ahead to stop waking him up. If Max wants to sleep 8 hours at a stretch at night, then we can all get a good night's sleep. Now, I'm under no illusion that this is actually going to happen anytime soon, but there have been times when I'm sure he would have slept a solid 6 hours if we had let him.

Today was a day full of adventure for the little guy. We went back to NAMC, but just for a visit. My friend Beth had her twins yesterday evening, and we went to go say hello. This was her first chance to see Max in person, and for us to meet Alyssa and Ethan. As Julie mentioned that Max makes Etta look huge, so the little twins make Max seem gigantic.

Alyssa 7/21/09 19:03, 5 lbs 13.8 oz, 18 in

Ethan 7/21/09 19:06, 5 lbs 3.2 oz, 18 3/4 in

We also took Max up to Flextronics so my coworkers could visit with him. They were all smitten with his good looks, and he was remarkably well behaved. Then Jeff had to stop by one of his clients on the way home, where Max had a snack and a diaper change. Luckily the office wasn't busy and no one had to listen to his screaming for long. We grabbed a burger for us to split and ran home so I could pump and Max could get back to his busy day of relaxing.

It's time for some pasta and a glass of wine. Max is sleeping in the swing, and things are good.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What I've Been Up To

So it's been a while since my last post, but I have a very good reason. On June 24th I came down with a nasty bout of food poisoning and with major contractions went off to the hospital. Unfortunately the contractions did jack squat, and I was sent home early the next morning still pregnant, and still feeling crappy. Later that morning I spoke with my doctor and it was arranged that Friday I would trek back to the hospital to have labor induced.

I don't have any spectacular labor stories to tell. It was pretty uneventful. Although I was pretty entertained by the way the pulse ox made my finger look like E.T.'s.I tried to get Jeff to Twitter something for me about it, but this was before the epidural and apparently another contraction came and the tweet just went by the wayside. We were only in the hospital for about 8 hours before our son was born, so pretty much all the fun stuff happened later.

Blog meet Maxwell Everett Kievlan, born June 26th 2009 at 2:59 pm. He was 8 lbs 8 oz and 22 inches long.There were all sorts of bumps along the road to where we are now. Jeff got a worse stomach bug than me on Saturday night, the day after Max was born. I'll spare you any details, but it was super bad times. Then Max and I had problems with breastfeeding, and lucky for you I did not take pictures of my scabby nipples so I can't show you the horror that was. It was bad though, bad enough to warrant a $60 prescription cream to heal them. The lactation consultant couldn't find anything wrong with Max's latch, and felt that the problem was with his tongue not sticking out properly. We tried to work through it, but after a week and a half I couldn't handle the pain anymore. Even trying to alternate breastfeeding and pumping for a bottle wasn't letting the nipples heal up. They looked better than they did on day 5, but every time he tried to feed they would get injured all over again.

Max was also losing weight over the course of the first week. If everyone's scales were accurate he dropped from 8 lbs 8 oz, down to 7 lbs 9 oz. To make sure that he was getting enough to eat we started supplementing formula feedings into his schedule. He immediately started sleeping better, and gaining some weight back. We go back tomorrow for another weight check, but at his 2 week check-up he'd made it back to 8 lbs.
Check out the Kung Fu Grip (2 wk appt)

Once I decided to exclusively pump and give him breast milk that way it was obvious that I needed help getting my milk to come in better. The lactation consultant recommended herbal supplements, but I balked at the volume of capsules that she wanted me to consume. I decided to call my OB and talk about the prescription drug option, which is Reglan. The nurse said no problem, and that people rarely have side effects and had an order phoned in for me. Well, I got me some side effects. I ended up with drowsiness, sleeplessness, anxiety, and I couldn't eat more than 4 bites of food every 5 or 6 hours so I was always starving. It took me 3 days to figure out the medication was to blame, and that it wasn't just "new mom crazies". Luckily the anxiety that had built up to the point of low grade panic attacks went away within a day of stopping the medication. Looking back on that first week now I can barely remember it. We were so tired at first, I guess - I don't really remember, and then I started that medication and everything went away. I have no idea how I made it through the weekend, and I can see why everyone kept asking if I was okay and looking at me a little funny.

The morning I stopped taking Reglan I spoke with the lactation consultant again and she said that she considered Reglan a last resort, because many of the women she has worked with have had side effects. So once again she recommended the Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle, only 2 pills of each 3 times a day... *sigh* So that's what I'm taking now. It may or may not be helping. I am producing more milk, but I've also been pumping 6-7 times a day for a couple weeks now and that could be part of the increase as well. Still, other than having strange smelling sweat and urine I'm not having any side effects, so I'm thrilled with the results. We're still having to give him formula, but I'm able to pump about 2/3 a days worth of milk for him now, instead of less than half.

Everything is going a little smoother now. I'm still working out the kinks in trying to keep Max happy by myself during the day, now that Jeff's back at work, but for the most part things are good. Since Max spends most of his day with a furrowed brow looking very serious, I'll leave you with the least serious shot I've taken of him so far. From just this morning.
Thbbbpt !