I need a dishwasher!

We used to have a small, countertop dishwasher. Not very big, but it fit most of our plates, all of our cutlery and most of our glasses, which are annoying to wash. Now it has leaked twice in the last week, so we have given up hope. It is on the deck awaiting recycling heaven. But we cannot live without a dishwasher. And we don’t really want to buy a new countertop one, because they cost $250, are noisy, take a very long time to wash your dishes, and we want to get a real dishwasher when we finally move to a bigger apartment (we are now next on the list). So we were wondering if we should just wait until we move. But that could still take months. And we really miss our dishwasher.

So we have decided to buy a real one. The kitchen is set up for it, we “just” need to remove a cabinet from the kitchen and store it somewhere else so it can be put back when we move out and take our dishwasher with us. Which also means we had to find room for the jars that were in that cabinet. They’re now in the pantry on the shelf where we previously had our linen. Makes sense, you’ll say, to have all the food together. But the linen… well, that’s more complicated. Right now, it’s on the couch awaiting a redistribution of our clutter. Have I mentioned we need a bigger apartment?

Now all that’s left (well, apart from drilling a hole between the sink compartment and the dishwasher compartment of the cabinet, but drilling holes is nothing but fun, isn’t it) is to pick a dishwasher. We want something relatively quiet because we have a small place (did I mention that already?). We are leaning toward Kenmore so far, but even then, they make like 200 different models.

Anyone have good or bad stories about dishwasher that could be useful?

Summer is over!

We had a wonderful summer. I don’t care what the whiners will say: I don’t remember any rain stopping us from going hiking or swimming, playing outside in the evening or biking around town. But it could not last forever. And now it’s definitely over.

After what seemed like months of sun and warm weather, the sky opened up last night. And today, there is a torrential downpour with a mere 11 degrees. I know people will complain, but it is officially fall now, and there is only two days left in September. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the temperature will go down, and so will the rain. After all, the grass certainly needs a good watering, and if we want snow for the Winter Olympics, we have to start somewhere.

I’m still hoping for a break on Sunday so we can do the last Great Ride of the season. But if it’s not possible, then so be it. I’ll enjoy the warmth of our apartment and the roof over my head. I’ll dig my Gore-Tex pants out of the closet and our son will be glad to finally wear his rubber boots. There is always a silver lining!

Big boy…

After his first sleeping bag, our boy is trying this week his first real bedsheets. Up until now, he always slept in a sleep sack, this kind of wearable blanket that was made very popular by the research on SIDS (as the baby cannot get entangled – and choke – in it). But now that his sleep sack is getting too small, that he takes it off most nights and that the weather is getting cooler, he graduated to a real sheet and a real duvet in a cute Ikea duvet cover.

We went to Ikea because they seem to be the only store who sell linen with fun prints and designs in bright colors without the branding that usually goes with it. Other stores seem to have only Dora, or Disney linen. I know, some day our boy will discover the corporate world, but for now, I don’t think he’s missing anything by being kept away from TV and children’s characters! So the longer we can keep the status quo, the better!

Ikea also has another big perk: they follow the more stringent European safety rules, which means that their mattresses or linens do not contain carcenogenic fire retardant. At least I don’t think they do. You can never be 100% sure these days…

All that to say that he loves his new covers and it allows him to run upstairs at bed time, hide in his bed and wait for his daddy, who comes up growling like a monster, pretends to search for him and, when he finds him underneath the covers, tickles him until they’re both laughing their heads off.

I love my boys!

Ready to go camping

You should see our son in his brand new sleeping bag! We figured we had to get him a real one for this trip, as it is not supposed to be overly warm: it could go down to 11 at night. MEC makes a nice kid’s down sleeping bag, with cute sheep printed on the inside. Our son adopted it right away and this morning, when Zak wanted to pack it, he wouldn’t let him. He has a bit of trouble getting all the way in, but once he’s in there, he looks so funny! A real little mommy (or a sausage, maybe)…

Now we still have to make him actually sleep in it. We’re hoping we don’t get a repeat situation of Hornby Island, when he sometimes spent up to an hour playing in the tent before falling asleep with only his pajamas on, the sleep sack and sleeping bag scattered around his mat. This time, he could be really cold if that happens!

We are packing rain gear, although it shouldn’t be too bad. We are more worried about mosquitoes. According to the Bug Report (I didn’t even know such a thing existed), there is elevated mosquito activity and moderate deer fly and horse fly activity, although for those two, the activity should become elevated on Monday. If I can read between the lines, it means that on Monday, my son and I are going to look like we just had chicken pox (Zak somehow seems immune to bites) and I won’t go anywhere without a full layer of Afterbite. Of course, I could try and fight them off with Citronella, but last time I did that it didn’t work at all, except that my throat was sore from the chemical smell after two days. I am really tempted to try DEET: it may cause cancer, but sometimes it seems like a small price to pay to be able to actually stay outside for a few minutes. If only there was another solution! Zak wanted to buy a bug shirt and hat (basically, mosquito nets shaped like clothing… very trendy!) but they were out when he went to MEC.

Anyway, we still have a lot of packing and preparing to do before we can enjoy the relaxing outdoors… I’ll let you know how it went!

The Tech generation…

Our computer is easily the most important piece of furniture in our house, and we would have a hard time living without Internet. So our son has started a long time ago to climb and sit on the computer chair and try and reach for the mouse or the keyboard. This morning, I was trying to tell him that we didn’t have time to play with the keyboard because we needed to go shop. His answer baffled me:
- Need to check email.

Zak wouldn’t believe me, but I couldn’t make this up. When we say that our babies imitate us! I don’t even think he knows what email is, at least not clearly, but I guess we must say that often: just a second, I need to check my email, or I need to write an email…

How long do we have before he asks us for an iPhone?

Koodos for Mother-Ease

I’m not sure if I mentioned Mother-Ease in my post about cloth diapering. But I am starting to think it is the best company ever!

First, they do amazing diapers. Everyone that I know who tried them have rated them as the best diapers ever. They work so much better than disposable diapers! They never leak, they are resistant and easy to wash… Simply put, an amazing product that makes your life easier. And they are made in Canada (Ontario), which is always a perk, by what started out as a small family company.

The company also gives some of the best customer service in the modern world. Their Web site is not always up to date, but their staff is friendly on the phone, they ship orders quickly (I received my diapers within a week of ordering them) and they accommodate special requests when customers want something slightly different from their usual packages. This week, though, in my opinion, they reached a new high.

When I bought my diapers, they were among the first bamboo diapers available. It was a new product, and after a few months people started complaining that the fabric binding, on the diapers, was fraying and tearing. Mother-Ease replaced every single defective diaper after finding a new binding that was as resistant as the rest of the diaper. My diapers seemed fine at the time, though, so I didn’t worry.

This week, after a year of continuous use, I realized that most of my diapers were tearing on the binding, just like the other diapers several months ago. I was worried that Mother-Ease may not want to replace my diapers, as they have seen a lot of use. Let’s face it: if you bought a shirt and it started tearing a year later, any company you complained to would only laugh at your dismay. Not Mother-Ease. They claim that their diapers will take you from birth to potty-training with your child, and they mean it (actually, according to their customers, they will be good for several children).

I emailed them, and the next day they replied that they were sending me replacements for every single one of my diapers, even the ones that still look fine. They are not taking any chances. They are even sending a prepaid shipping label so I can return my used, torn diapers free of charge. They know, of course, that mothers talk about their diapers and that word of mouth is their best publicity. And they are right, aren’t they? I heard of them through a neighbor, and I advertised them to at least 2 or 3 other mothers that didn’t know about them. But I have no qualms about spreading that good news. I believe in this product, and after my last experience, I will also spread the word about their amazing customer service.

Now, if they had known about the effects a whole summer of my son eating blueberries had on those diapers, they may not have asked for them back… I am looking forward to a whole new stack of soft, stain-free diapers to replace my old stash. I’m a happy customer and a happy camper.

Our Son is Trouble!

In an effort to give our son a place to sit and draw (and therefore encourage his budding creativity), we went to Ikea last weekend and bought a small table and two chairs. We bought plastic even though it goes against our principles, being made of non-renewable material and all, as the wood ones didn’t seem like they would withstand much. It took Elliot a few tries at the store, but he soon figured out how to sit on those chairs (even though they are a bit too tall for him still).

After putting them together, Zak went upstairs and I turned my attention to the computer for all of a minute. When Zak came back down, he yelled our son’s name, which made me turn around. The little cowboy was not sitting at the table like a good 13-month-old BABY should be, no! He was on all fours, ON TOP of the table. How did he do that when a few hours before he couldn’t even climb on the chair? Don’t ask me. I didn’t see him do it. But I guess we’ll have to watch him carefully from now on!

He loves sitting on the chairs and he has been drawing a bit, enough to make sure that the table is as covered in crayon as the paper is. He is also very happy with the rocking moose we got him (wood this time), and which he managed to climb on too despite it being a bit too tall for him. Falls are a-coming, I know! But it seems like there’s just no way to avoid it. Boys will be boys, they say…