Archives for category: Imperfect Housewife

The Avent bottle brush: Not just for bottles!

Now I’ve used a LOT of different sponges and brushes and brush-sponges, but never one that’s as good as the Avent bottle brush.

I use it for my plates, bowls and especially for cleaning sharp things like knives and my blender, and even Teflon-coated stuff like woks and pots – works beautifully because the bristles are soft, yet firm enough to remove grime and grease. Best part is, because it’s made for bottles, the bristles at the tip of the brush are great for any deep-ended things like cups and glasses.

Also great for curved surfaces so you don’t really have to twist the brush around too much, but just sweep it left and right!

Having owned this for almost a year, it’s still in good condition because it’s made of sturdy plastic, not the cheap kind that will fray with a bit of abuse.

Highly recommended even if you’re not a mommy!

I got mine from Babyland in SS2 last time, brought it with me to the US. Not cheap though (US$5 here, think I got it for RM13 if I remember correctly), but worth every penny!

After three weeks of using the Dyson (or was it four?), here’s how to tackle the annoying vaccuum-with-no-auto-reeling problem: plug the vacuum in behind you, like so:

vaccuum.jpg

Then vaccuum forward. Like that, the cable stays behind!

Wow, I’m really getting into this housework thing.

You know, I haven’t vacuumed the floor in like, a million years. Back home, we had tile, and a maid, so I really haven’t played the housewife EVER.

So when we actually shopped for a vacuum cleaner, I didn’t even know what to look for. Luckily, Lokes read somewhere that Dyson was the best brand to get, a fact a friend later verified. Something about good suction and all. But it was expensive (about $200-300 more than the Hoovers and Eurekas out there, same class), so I had to find out more. Finally, after reading many reviews (from people who obviously have been vacuuming a lot more than me, that’s for sure), we bit and bought one from Costco.

After what can only be described as a wrestling workout (largely because I haven’t used an upright VC ever, so if you’ve never as well, this review would apply to you), here’s my take:

Here’s our Dyson DC14 Telescope which cost $469.90 from Costco. It comes with manuals and about five attachable heads you can stick onto the ‘telescope’, an appendage you can remove from the handle of VC and use it like a ‘hose’ to clean stairs, upholstery on your furniture and also under them. When using, it was pretty hefty to lug around, but I’m told upright VCs are like that. You actually push the whole thing up and down, working your right (or left, if you’re a leftie) arm muscles nicely throughout, and believe me, it’s REALLY tiring ‘coz the Dyson is NOT light.

This is what it sucked up from our carpet in the living room and upstairs in both our rooms and the hallway:

So is it good? Hell yea! Just lookit that! I didn’t even know the carpet was THAT dirty!

However, using the Telescope was a little bit like snake wrangling, perhaps because the VC is so new. The spring extension is coiled too tightly and needs to be pulled very hard to reach further, a fact evident when I was vacuuming the stairs. I also had some trouble figuring out which of the many heads to use to clean carpet spaces under furniture. I settled for this:

dyson05.jpg

It says that this cleans upholstery and stairs. When the VC is on, the bristles spin and catch stuff. I think.

The other problem with the Dyson is that it doesn’t have an auto-cable management system (you know, the thing that whips your power cable back in with a touch of a button?). This is where the wrestling bit comes in. You have to hold the cables in your other hand, constantly having to swing it out of the way. This sucked.

So the verdict: Upright VCs are a bitch to work, a fact I’d just discovered. But after you look at how clean they get (judging from how much crap the Dyson managed to suck up) you begin to see how worth it this thing is. Best thing is, the VC is bagless, so no refills needed. It was a little tricky at first to figure out how to dislodge the whole transparent container (without spilling the contents on oneself – especially contents that look like THAT), but it was pretty intuitive, even for an upright VC-virgin like me. Just a snap here and a pull there and it was out. You can even wash the container, so cool beans.

All in all, it’s quite cool.

Just not as cool as this.

So I haven't really been blogging since David's passing. Didn't feel like it and also, didn't have time, in between full baby, editorial and druidic duties. My posts in The Sun have also been reduced to once a week. I'd like to write more but these days, one just does not seem to have the peace needed to mull on a topic.

But a significant change is on its merry way, my friends. By the end of this year, I shall be calling it quits. Throwing in the towel. Making the choice – not a difficult one, I might add – to be a full-time mother and wife.

A sudden decision? Hardly.

Some of my friends are shocked at the idea, but I have been somewhat halfway there all these years, working from home and all. And it's not so bad, this desperate housewife wannabe thing. I get to live in shorts and come up with home projects. Try all those recipes I've been storing up. Perhaps even learn how to operate that new-fangled washing machine once again.

Why am I doing this? I feel that the next few years of my kids' lives (the first few are just as precious but they tend to bestow more favour upon food and sleep so the job is less enjoyable and gratifying) are crucial. Raeven is three and asking questions about almost everything her toddler mind finds conceivably curious. It is prudent that I should be the one to answer them lest my maid does more than her job – and that is, my job – for me.

The Hubby agrees, and hence, must take up the challenge of bringing home the whole piece of bacon, and not just the fat. And I will, for the first time in 16 years, stop bringing home anything.

Well, maybe I will doodle once in a while for my supper. Perhaps even – gasp – blog more.

Yes, bad habits are hard to break.