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Tiaras and Trucks

Monday, January 30, 2012

Losing the Shine

my bissell steam and sweep*

We pulled up the teal carpet with excitement, knowing the promise that hid beneath years of dust and the hazardous tack strips and carpet nails littering the scarred wooden floors.

Having our floors refinished was one of the first projects Ryan and I tackled in our house, though our version of tackling meant calling and hiring someone who wouldn't be likely to let the sander wear through the remaining layers of wood.

For days we wandered back and forth between the addition and the kitchen, moving between our two back doors to avoid the heavy drapes of plastic and untouchable varnish, spending time anywhere but home to breathe without gagging on the fumes.

Refinished and beautifully polished, they were a reminder of the potential lurking within the walls of our work-in-progress old house.

For years I worried about their shine, keeping a static mop in the closet for basic dust issues, a broom for sweeping, and Murphy's Oil Soap for periodic cleanings when I noticed some of the shine fading from their glossy darkness.

Kids brought a whole new dimension to our floors.


A pulverized cheerio settles into the grooves of the floor, the varnish no longer impenatrable.  Sippy cups thrown in gleeful games subtly mar the surface.  Errant crayons smear waxy streaks near the dining room table.

The Murphy's Oil Soap sits neglected, the gleaming surface of my floors a memory like lazy weekend mornings when it didn't matter if a corkscrew was left at the edge of the kitchen counter from the night before.

I've streamlined my cleaning routine: one little magic machine that picks up crumbs and steams the floors into a sanitized surface, warm and clean but lacking the reflective shine and slippery clean of my old stand-by. 

There are moments I miss the shine.  But then I see Dylan trailing behind the steamer, trying to figure out why my path is wet and a little hot and why one of the buttons makes a whirring sound and one does not.

And I remember that there's always more than one way to shine.


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*This is NOT a sponsored post.  Bissell has no idea who I am or that I'm writing this or that my mom bought me this lovely member of our household as a Christmas gift two years ago.  I just love having sanitized floors in the amount of time it takes to sweep the room.

Labels:

35 Comments:

  • At January 30, 2012 at 8:25 AM , Anonymous Kir said...

    I've always wanted one of them..we have a BIG STEAMER that we use about every 3 months, but I'd love an "everyday" one.

    I just the loved the last line..it was perfect in every way. Our house has taken on a whole new "atmostphere" ine the boys joined us. ;)

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 8:50 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I can't recommend that little machine enough.  Seriously.  It doesn't give that sparkly gleam; it's more of a matte look when it's clean.  But I love knowing it's clean more often, especially since my kids tend to sprawl all over it :)

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 9:06 AM , Anonymous Elena Sonnino said...

    Oh Angela, what a perfect analogy! It is funny because my hubby has a hard time with the fact that our wood floors show footprints and crumbs more often than they shine--- I think I may be quoting you the next time he says anything. :)

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 9:52 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Giggle. It's so true, but I can't imagine trying to keep up with it anymore.  The steamer makes me feel better when Dylan picks up a cheerio and eats it.  Still.

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 9:56 AM , Anonymous Tania Elfersy said...

    Who knew about a Steam and Sweep?! I need to investigate more . . . . Sounds like it is not only your favorite cleaning tool but Dylan's too! You are creating some great "following my mom" memories :-)

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 10:27 AM , Anonymous Emily @ My Pajama Days said...

    I have spent the whole weekend purging closets and reorganizing bathroom cabinets. It was starting to make me crazy looking at my pre-teen and teen daughters' bathroom mess. I needed to read this and be reminded that the "clutter" is our life - the makeup, the curling irons, the lip gloss and tiny hairbands are fleeting and one day I will miss seeing that mess. Lovely post.

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 10:29 AM , Anonymous Tracy said...

    This is so incredibly beautiful. xo

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 11:58 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you Tracy!  Maybe Bissell SHOULD sponsor me...

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 11:58 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Yes, that's so true.  My mom talks about that sometimes.

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 11:59 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Oh, it's so my favorite!  Definitely look into it.  If you have wood (or anything but carpet really) it's the best!

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 3:42 PM , Anonymous Jessica said...

    I quit worrying about the clean floors a long time ago. One of the reasons it's nice to have dogs. 

    Bissell should sponsor you, or at least pay you enough so you can hire a maid. ;)

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 3:58 PM , Anonymous jentos23 said...

    LOVE that last line...it's so true :) 

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 5:23 PM , Anonymous Kimberly said...

    I swear I vacuum about 8 times a day. It's insane. Yet I still feel like I can't keep it clean. I blame the kids and my husband. ;)

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 6:18 PM , Anonymous Cameron (CDG) said...

    Lady, you nailed it in the last line!

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 8:53 PM , Anonymous Kate F. said...

    Oh Angela! What a perfect ending! There are definitely more ways to shine! ;)

     
  • At January 30, 2012 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous Sweaty said...

    So, so true!!  It's amazing to look back and remember how life was before children.  The things that used to matter so much to us suddenly took a backstand, priorities were readjusted, and our whole world turned upside down and inside out.  Yet, we would never have it any other way, would we? ;)

    Love this post, Angela!  A perfect Just Be Enough post!

     
  • At January 31, 2012 at 5:36 AM , Anonymous Lady Jennie said...

    Ah!  Great ending.  :-)

    Our oak floors get stained and dull faster than you could blink an eye.  Of course we already had 3 small kids when we had them done.

     
  • At January 31, 2012 at 11:00 AM , Anonymous Missy | Literal Mom said...

    Last line = perfect.  LOVE how you tied up this post with that.  :)

     
  • At January 31, 2012 at 12:17 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Missy :)  It's so true, though, isn't it?

     
  • At January 31, 2012 at 12:18 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Sweaty :)  Yes, it's funny how things that seemed important don't so much, but things that didn't seem important suddenly do.

     
  • At January 31, 2012 at 12:18 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Kate!  I will try to remember that this afternoon as I am cleaning up the remnants of macaroni and cheese :)

     
  • At January 31, 2012 at 12:19 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Cam!  The thing is?  I don't even know if I've touched the tip of the iceberg ;)

     
  • At January 31, 2012 at 12:20 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    In addition to the steamer, I also have a Bissell stick vac thing (see, seriously, they should sponsor me!)  I keep it plugged in and in the corner of the dining room all day long.  And use it a TON :)

     
  • At January 31, 2012 at 12:20 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Jen :)

     
  • At January 31, 2012 at 12:21 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Oooh, dogs.  Abbey would be thrilled.  But then the hair?  More cleaning!

    And yes, a maid would be lovely :)

     
  • At January 31, 2012 at 7:35 PM , Anonymous betsy said...

    I never seem to do enough laundry, wash enough dishes or clean enough floors... something's always dirty! But that last line-- exactly!

     
  • At January 31, 2012 at 9:14 PM , Anonymous J. Bruno said...

    You and Galit always make me feel like I'm actually sitting in your house when I read your posts.  You are so so talented.  And, you are such an awesome mom.

     
  • At January 31, 2012 at 11:02 PM , Anonymous Elaine A. said...

    I can see why you would love your Bissel.  I might need to get one of those.

    Love that last line... ;)

     
  • At February 1, 2012 at 11:25 AM , Anonymous Jackie said...

    Like everyone else it's the last line....

    My son loves the vacuum and is always wanting to help or use it on his own. I don't know what it is about it!

     
  • At February 1, 2012 at 3:12 PM , Anonymous Some call me John said...

    The very first thing we did, in our house, was the pull out carpet from areas where we knew we wanted to . . . then, I broke my arm and we couldn't complete things the way we wanted.

    My floors never, ever shine . . . I kind of like "rustic cheerio dust."

    Oh, and my wife asked for one of those cleaners for Christmas.  I couldn't bring myself to get it for her (but my mom did). She <3's it.

     
  • At February 1, 2012 at 9:12 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Oh, laundry.  My other nemesis.  There's always more of it waiting in the wings, isn't there?

     
  • At February 1, 2012 at 9:13 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    This is one of the nicest comments I've ever gotten.  Thank you so much Jen :)

     
  • At February 1, 2012 at 9:13 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    You should absolutely get one!  I love mine :)

     
  • At February 1, 2012 at 9:14 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Yes!  Abbey never cared too much one way or the other, but Dylan loves the vacuuming.

     
  • At February 1, 2012 at 9:16 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    See, moms are so great for buying those sorts of gifts!  It's much more excting than it seems, believe me :)

    (And we didn't even attempt to do it ourselves.  Well, we pulled up carpet and three billion carpet tacks, but we didn't even attempt the whole sanding/staining/varnishing!)

     

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