Friday, November 9, 2012

hand sanitizer on hardwood floor

I am using precious time to post on a breakthrough I had today, because I had a hard time finding information on the Internet about it and want this post to be a resource (hopefully) for someone in the same position.

BACKSTORY: Soon after Camilla's birth, two white spots showed up on our hardwood floor (solid hickory). I tried to rub them out with all the cleaners I had on hand, but to no avail. After a few days' investigation, I determined the culprit was hand sanitizer. We had set up a changing table downstairs in the family room, right next to the kitchen and, hence, the hardwood floor. The label on hand sanitizer says that the small amount of alcohol in the ingredients can damage the finish on some hardwood floors.

So I was as vigilant as I could be with the hand sanitizer, trying to make sure we wiped up every drop thereafter. I had some success, but eventually I lost the battle as more white spots kept popping up. At least once I had a disturbing dream about white spots all over our wood floor that weren't going away. But I was able to settle into mild acceptance of the situation.

CONTINUING PROBLEM: A few days ago, we found Henry indulging in the hand sanitizer by spreading gobs of it over himself and the floor. I cleaned it up as thoroughly as possible, but the next day ten new spots showed up on the hardwood floor. I was feeling a bit sick about the whole situation, not wanting to have to re-finish the floor but not excited about the abstract art creeping across our kitchen floor.

I googled information about how to remove hand sanitizer spots from hardwood floors and found two plausible suggestions: (1) use baby oil and (2) wax out the stain/damage. I tried the first suggestion with some success! The recent spots came out easily! But the old spots remained.

I went to Lowe's and asked for help finding a wax for a hardwood floor with a polyurethane finish. A waxing product does not exist for such a floor, but we did find lemon oil polish (Old English brand). I had also read that using the finest steel wool to rub in the oil would help to remove the hand-sanitizer spots. So, I also picked up a package of 0000 steel wool. I came home and tried the most inconspicuous spot first: I put a few drops of lemon oil on the steel wool, then I rubbed vigorously over the spot. It disappeared fairly quickly. Henry then helped me by finding the 15 or so remaining white spots, and I was able to successfully rub them out with the lemon-oil-infused steel wool.

I rubbed away the oil and the floor's finish looks fine--no difference in gloss or shine. If you happen to have a similar situation, this solution is great: cheap, relatively easy, and effective.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hello there

It's been over half a year since our last post. No, we haven't turned insanely busy, been really stressed, or forgotten how to use a computer. We deliberately stopped posting since for a couple of reasons we became hesitant to post a lot about Henry online, and if we weren't going to write about Henry, what else would there be to write about!

We just got done with visiting some relatives and friends, though, who told us that they like to keep up with us on our blog. I'd actually kind of forgotten that we had a blog at that point, so coming back to pen a few words here is a bit nostalgic.

So if we haven't been blogging, what are we doing? Well, we're definitely still spending plenty of time writing about Henry. The way it's played out, I write monthly entries in his baby journal at, and Tricia writes monthly letters to him describing his development. When we're not writing about him, we love to play with him. He is now walking and even though he's surprisingly small for his age, he's quite coordinated, sociable, and really one of our best friends. (Tricia calls me Henry's biggest fan, and she very may well be right so I'm trying to not gush too much about what lucky parents we are.)

I just turned 30 last week. To be honest I haven't had time to be as reflective as I'd like to be about that milestone, but I feel very blessed. I don't think I would have predicted how my life has played out to this point, but I've been blessed more than I deserve with an amazing family and in-laws, co-workers and associates at my company (we often comment that T-Splines, my little company, really has much more talented employees, consultants, board members and friends than it should logically have), friends, and an amazingly devoted wife yoked up beside me.

Finally, what have our distractions/hobbies been lately? Homemade sourdough bread. Jimmer. Waking up at 5 AM (on purpose). Scripture study. Henry.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Six months

Henry turned six months old today!

What a great reason to post on the blog again ;).

A few thoughts/observations:

we *love* our son. Henry has quite a bit of energy. Of course, this can be absolutely delightful or a bit tiring, depending on the time of day and how happy he is. At church, people are starting to know me as Henry's dad. Since Tricia plays the organ, we sit towards the front. Henry is doing a better job at not needing to be taken out during church, but he's not the quietest kid around. He loves to pant enthusiastically during songs, growl and bang his toys while he plays with them, and squirm. These are all fun behaviors at home, so I'm sure it doesn't register at all when I "shush" him at church. Last Sunday on our way home, my muscles were tired and it felt like I had just been through a wrestling match.

Words that I would use to describe Henry: engaging, very good communicator about his feelings, absolutely loves the outside (he will stop crying the second we step out the door), curious, loves to splash in the bathtub, intense. It feels like Henry never does anything half-heartedly. When he gets his diaper changed in the morning, he flaps his arms like he's making a snow angel and grunts happily. We call it his "exercises". When he plays with toys, he attacks them. He does have a quieter side, but it's a very purposeful quieter side. He still loves the piano, and now will join in by playing some of his own notes. When I take him on rides in the stroller or Tricia sits with him outside, he can be very still, but his deep enjoyment is almost palpable. Tricia and I both love him intensely. Henry's vibrancy is an welcome addition to our family.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

internet homemaker: cleaning chart

I'm starting a new series on this blog to give insight into how I approach my job as a homemaker. I am amazed at how different--and yet similar!--a homemaking job today is from a generation ago. I believe one BIG difference is computers and the internet. And since I love my computer and use the internet daily, both as resources for my current job, I thought I'd share some heads-ups that I've come across.

Take today. Since Henry's birth, I have slowly (oh-so-slowly) worked on balancing his needs with my needs. One of my needs is to have a clean environment. I'm not talking about having items picked up and put away (although that is important), I mean clean. Dusted. Vacuumed. Disinfected. CLEAN.

I've been working on a cleaning chart of sorts. Before you ask: YES, I do need a cleaning chart for myself. Let me explain by describing my day: my activities rotate around Henry's schedule of eating, playing for 2 to 3 hours, then sleeping for 45 minutes to 3 hours. He's currently pretty unpredictable about his sleeping times, so I'm never quite sure how long I'll have to myself. And when he's awake, I'm never quite sure how long he'll contentedly play by himself. Hence, if I don't have a pointed plan of what I want to get done for the day, nothing gets done. NOTHING. (Well, nothing outside of having a happily fed baby. That's pretty big.)

So I made up a cleaning chart. I was going to make a daily chart, but that seemed I would be assuming too much "free" time any given day. So instead I made a weekly cleaning chart. I started by listing every cleaning responsibility, then marking whether it needed to be completed weekly, bi-weekly (as in every other week), or monthly.

Then I made little lists for each week, with appropriate check-off boxes. (NOTE: Crossing off to-do items--or checking them off--is extremely satisfying. Sometimes I will write in "eat breakfast" or "take a shower" just to be able to cross something off.) I will print these off and put them on my fridge (in approximately 5 minutes).
I'll be trying my new cleaning chart out for the next couple of weeks and let you know how it goes.

Friday, May 28, 2010

henryman = pianoman

Henryman (for some reason, both Matt and I like to refer to Henry by adding on "man") surprised me today by trying out the piano. I've had him on my lap while I practice before, and I've tried to coax him to play, but he has seemed more awed (confused?) than interested in trying it out.

But today he thought he'd give it a shot:

I think he's pretty good--especially with those intent facial expressions.

Friday, May 21, 2010

water check 2010

Today our sprinklers were tested for efficiency, accuracy, coverability, uniformity, and other such characteristics. For free. The result? About 10 sprinkler heads should be changed. Not bad. (It was also suggested we gut the entire system and pack in more dirt. Hmmm--probably not going to happen.)

My favorite part? The recommended minutes and cycles for watering each section of our yard. The efficiency! The organization!

And the green grass. Hello, summer!


Freshly cut tulips + adorable son = happy mom.