Monday, May 25, 2009

It's a Keeper!!

I must say, I was very skeptical about this washing machine. I really WANTED to love it, but based on the reviews I read, I was reserving judgement until I had put it to the test with all of our different laundry needs. Since getting the machine, I have washed:

  • Whites
  • Colours
  • Darks
  • Diapers
  • Towels
  • Sheets
  • Comforter
EVERY SINGLE LOAD came out perfectly. They come out of the machine just a little damp, and dry in HALF the time that they would have previously. The diapers smelled fresh and clean. I washed all of our sheets this morning in ONE load (in our old machine I would have done it in 3 loads), and they were not twisted or wrinkled at all (that was one of the complaints I read most often, that sheets got twisted into knots). There is a setting for sheets, and whatever it does, it washes them beautifully. The comforter I washed on the "bulky" setting, which is for puffy, light things. It fills the machine up with water (instead of the usual spray and rinse), and seemed to do a good job. All of our clothes came out clean and smelled fresh. So I'm not sure if all of those people complaining just didn't read the manual and use the correct settings for each load, or what... but I have not experienced any of the things they complained about.

What I love about this machine:

  • It's quiet!! Our laundry room is right off our kitchen, and I still can't hear the machine running. During the spin cycle it makes a neat "whirring" kind of sound... that gets higher pitched the faster it spins. Sounds like an airplane taking off (but quieter).
  • The see-through lid: Since this machine cleans so differently from regular machines, I like being able to see how it treats different types of loads.
  • Automatic laundry soap/fabric softener/bleach dispensing: There are places to put each of those things, and the machine knows when to release them into the wash.
  • The GIANT capacity: I love that I can fit a ton of stuff into one load. I can now probably average one load per day, rather than my previous 3-4 loads.
  • Stuff comes out almost dry: I used to pull sopping wet things out of my washing machine, and then they would take forever to dry. Even if I put them on the clothes line, often at the end of the day they would still be damp and I'd have to throw them in the dryer anyway. Now there's barely any water left in them when they come out.
  • The fun buttons. :) Seriously... it's fun watching things that light up. I know, I know. The novelty of that will wear off soon. But for right now I look forward to laundry. I'll enjoy it while it lasts!
  • Automatic settings: I love that I just have to pick "whites" or "colours" and it automatically knows what temperature settings to use, water level, spin speed, whether or not to use bleach, etc. Easy-peasy.
  • Energy and water savings: I'm curious what our next energy and water bill will look like, as I'm sure laundry comprised a huge part of those bills.
No, I'm not getting paid to tout this machine. :) It's just that I was nervous about making such a major purchase and that I'd end up hating it. I'm thrilled that it has exceeded my expectations. We're still going to buy the extended warranty, which will give us 5 years of coverage, in case any of the electrical components go bad. But for now, all is well!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Waiting on the Washing Machine

After much research online, and much driving around from store to store, we finally purchased a washing machine on Monday. I thought this would be a good opportunity to choose a machine that would be as eco-friendly as possible. The repair man who broke the news of the fate of our old machine advised me to stay away from front-loading machines because we have an old home with uneven floors, and a front-loading machine spins so fast that it would vibrate itself all over the place. So I started looking into energy-efficient top-loaders, and found one called the Whirlpool Cabrio. It uses about half the energy and water of a traditional top-loading machine. It lacks a centre agitator so it has HUGE capacity, and what would have been 3 loads in my old washer will only be 1 load in this machine, which results in even more energy savings. It also spins at a very high RPM (without the vibration issues of a front-loader), and therefore the clothes come out almost dry, which should also greatly reduce the amount of time the clothes have to spend in the dryer. We were able to buy the display model with cash at a significant discount, so we should be able to recoup our cost fairly quickly with the energy and water savings. I'm being cautiously optimistic though, because this machine has gotten VERY mixed reviews online. I don't think I've ever read so many reviews before buying something! And it seems people either LOVE them or HATE them. I'm hoping to be in the "Love Them" camp, but we shall see. There's a 7-day return policy so I plan on putting it to the test! Some people have said it uses SO little water that your clothes don't get clean. Other people have said that it spins so hard that your clothes end up in knots with permanent wrinkles. However, those in the "Love Them" camp have said you just have to read the manual and learn to load the machine properly and everything is fine. I'm also a little nervous that it's electronic - and anything electronic has more parts to break and is more expensive to fix. So if we keep the machine, I think we'll purchase the extended warranty just so we're covered. The machine was supposed to arrive yesterday, but apparently there was some kind of mix-up, so it will be coming this afternoon. My laundry is now backed up to mountainous proportions, so I will have plenty of opportunity to test the capacity of this washer. I'm also curious to see what kind of job it will do on diapers (apparently there are directions in the manual for how to wash cloth diapers in this machine). So I'm nervously excited, and I will come back and update with the results!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Getting Adjusted...

Hello everyone!
I hope you haven't given up on me, I know I haven't posted in ages! I'm still getting adjusted to being a mom of 3, and figuring out how to balance it all. It's a little trickier than I would have imagined, but we are somehow managing! I've had to learn that I can't do it all, or at least not all at once. Sometimes I feel like my older two (who are only four and two!) have had to do some growing up since Gavin arrived, which makes me a little sad - I don't want them to grow up any sooner than they have to! But it sure is nice that my four year old is able to get herself a simple snack (like a bowl of cheerios!), or put on her own tv show, or help her little brother play a game on the computer. (Yes, my children are watching a lot of tv and playing a lot of computer games these days... and I've learned to be okay with that during this season of my life!). My Cuddly Wrap has become my best friend. I can wear Gavin all day long, and as long as he is snuggled up to me in the wrap, he is content, and I have two free hands to get things done. I'm not sure why I didn't do this with my other two! I guess having two free hands wasn't as essential before I had 3 kids! There isn't much I can't do when I'm wearing him! And the laundry... OH, the laundry! I thought I had a lot of laundry when I had 2 kids. HA! I now do laundry from morning till night, easily 3-4 loads a day (I have two in diapers!). (And on a side note, our washing machine is on the verge of blowing up, so we are looking for a good, sturdy replacement... any suggestions??). All in all, things are going pretty well. And on the days I'm frustrated and feel like I can get nothing done, I try to remind myself how quickly this time will pass... and that I don't want to look back at the time when my children are so young and have regrets about not enjoying them as much as I should.

I found this poem on the internet that sums it up very nicely for me... and when I'm having one of THOSE days, I read it, and it very quickly puts things into perspective:

To My Grown-up Son

"My hands were busy through the day

I didn't have much time to play

The little games you asked me to.

I didn't have much time for you.

"I'd wash your clothes, I'd sew and cook,

But when you'd bring your picture book

And ask me, please, to share your fun,

I'd say, 'A little later, son.'

"I'd tuck you in all safe at night,

And hear your prayers, turn out the light,

Then tiptoe softly to the door.

I wish I'd stayed a minute more.

"For life is short, and years rush past,

A little boy grows up so fast.

No longer is he at your side.

His precious secrets to confide.

"The picture books are put away,

There are no children's games to play,

No good night kiss, no prayers to hear.

That all belongs to yesteryear.

"My hands once busy, now lie still

The days are long and hard to fill.

I wish I might go back and do

The little things you asked me to."

If it brings tears to your eyes like it does for me every time I read it, I hope it also reminds you to focus on what is truly important.