Wednesday, January 27, 2016

humidifiers and hiking

Y'all, I feel more than a little silly I came across so ridiculously OCD about our bevy of humidifiers!  But since several of y'all asked, here's the skinny on our moisture brigade and my cleaning regimen {if you can call it that!}.  

We have three Crane "cool mist" humidifiers: the Elephant, the Monkey, and an Orange Teardrop.  They are all supposed to be the same capacity, but we've found the teardrop seems to drain faster; this is a concern for the kids, because there is no automatic shutoff {one of my only gripes} and you don't want the motor to burn out running with no water when they're getting their glorious 10-12 nightly hours of sleep.  So the teardrop goes in our room seeing as we are {sadly} not snoozing for a dozen or so hours.  I don't have any complaints {other than the previously mentioned lack of automatic shutoffs}: the animal designs are super cute, the kids love them, and they do seem to help with sniffles and coughing.  I'd love to add essential oils to the tanks, but the manuals specifically warn against it, so we are now the proud owners of multiple Deneve River Rock Diffusers, which we all love. 

Cleaning: My regular housekeeping skills leave much to be desired -- I am much more of a "tidier-upper" than a deep cleaner; please don't inspect my baseboards or my shower grout if you're ever invited to supper! But air-born molds give me the serious heebie-jeebies, so I'm pretty religious about cleaning out the humidifiers.  Our water in Dallas also caused a lot of mineral build-up in the tank, so giving them a good vinegar dousing on the regular just became part of the necessary routine.  I literally just rinse out whatever water is left from the night before {from the base and the tank} and then I pour hot water {just from the tap} into the tank with a tablespoon or so of white vinegar and give it a good shake.  Instead of dumping it straight down the sink, I pour some of the vinegar water into the base and swish that around a bit as well before draining both parts completely. If we need to use it another nap / night, I rise both parts again with clean, hot water, then refill.  If we're well and I'm ready to store them, I let all the parts dry completely in the bathtub before packing them away.  

That's it! Not difficult or all that time consuming; I just hate juggling all those damn parts! 

I can't believe I just wrote two paragraphs on humidifiers... It's a thrill a minute around here! 

Now! A little plug for "hiking" with your kids...


Obviously, we're big hiking fans -- not crazy-experienced or advanced, but enthusiastic enough to center many of our vacations around it.  We've trekked with little papoose-babies {B was 3 months when we first took him hiking (in Jackson Hole) and L was 4 or 5 months (Breckenridge)}, toddlers, preschoolers, and all combinations thereof.  But we've always been on a trip, and we've always carried them in some form or fashion, or we've at least had the option to.  







 
On MLK Day, we somewhat spontaneously decided to take the kids down the road to Wild Basin Preserve.  We didn't bring the pack or Beco, and we had no clue how long the kids would last or if it would just be one continuous meltdown,  The trails are easy {and there's only 2.5 miles worth of 'em}, but they are definitely rocky paths with some elevation changes.


All that to say, it could have been a total disaster, but it ended up being a total blast!  The kids did amazing and, for the most part, hiked our entire route by themselves {I carried B for maybe the last quarter mile}.  I think we did about 1.5 miles total -- not a killer workout for the adults by any stretch of the imagination, but a lot for little legs! 


We had so much fun that we took another family hike through the Barton Creek Greenbelt {the Violet Crown Trail, for any locals} this past Sunday.  Tons more people {and puppies!} to navigate around in the greenbelt, but also a bunch of water {and puppies swimming in the water!} and rocks to climb. 


Once again, the kids were tiny badasses {we did somewhere between one and two miles} and we had a great time {despite L's face in the photo down yonder!}. 


So! "Hiking" with toddlers / preschoolers!  I recommend it -- I swear it can be fun!  Your kids might totally surprise you, and they'll nap like bosses afterwards. 

And thus concludes perhaps the most random post I've ever written. 

15 comments:

  1. We have two of the teardrop ones, and I feel your pain. Dumping them out every morning is probably my least favorite chore!

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  2. What essential oils do you use in the diffusers? I'm just getting into diffusing essential oils (got suckered into Young Living from a friend but looking for an alternative).

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    1. I buy the Now brand. My (non-fancy) grocery store sells them, as does Whole Foods. We love the Peaceful Sleep, Clear the Air (for respiratory issues), and Nature Shield (like Thieves) blends, as well as just pure lavender, peppermint, ginger, peppermint, and sweet orange. Since B is almost 2, I don't worry about this quite as much, but if you're diffusing or using oils with a little one, be sure and do a little research as some of the oils can cause respiratory distress if not heavily diluted!

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  3. That answered one of my questions! Thank you! My other question is are there any resources you would suggest for doing research on safety, like you mentioned above, or for oil information in general? Fixing to order the diffuser you recommended! I've wanted one ever since you mentioned it in your birthday post!!

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    1. I have this link bookmarked and find it to be a good reference for kid safety!

      http://www.thehippyhomemaker.com/essential-oil-safety-babies-children/

      I am honestly a newbie at the oil thing! I mostly Google "what oil should I use for XYZ" as issues arise. I should probably buy a book or something, buuuuuut...meh! ;)

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    2. Oh! But you will love that diffuser! And it's on mega-sale on Amazon right now! I might buy a 3rd...

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  4. So I assume you don't let the pink mold accumulate on your humidifiers like I do, then? 😁#worldsmostokayestmom I had to take a brush to them to other day...will switch to your vinegar routine, sounds more preventative and effective (and less gross!)

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    1. It really doesn't take that much extra time and definitely cuts waaaaaay down on mold-potential! I feel like my initial comments in my DITL post showcased my flair for the dramatic -- I swear I don't spend hours scrubbing every inch of our humidifiers!

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    2. Haha, clearly not. Your routine really does sound simple and manageable. Thanks for sharing it, I implemented it already!

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  5. Ahhaha, I was going to email to inquire more about your humidifier cleaning style since it made me question mine. We have four but two just got tossed because one had motor issues and one was not looking clean up to my standards (Oliver's...he constantly was putting his mouth on it and I think bacteria took over -GAAAAAH). I am also intense on the vinegar and dumping and I haaaaaaaaate it. Hate it. It's absurd to be that aggravated by it but the additional step at bedtime is torture. I try to make myself do it earlier in the day so it's done but lots of times the humidifiers end up sitting in the laundry room with diluted vinegar solutions for a couple days at a time (probably also not so good for them...)

    Oh! I did use some EOs in the humidifiers last year and I would not recommend. Actually that is probably what went wrong with Ollie's. I also find the humidifiers only have a lifespan or about two years even with all the fussy pants care.

    Oh, and our current ones are a light up hello kitty (quite lovely!), a frog (RIP), a dragon (RIP) and a white tear drop.

    In other news I finally got a diffuser for my EOs on Amazon. This one: http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Oil-Diffuser-Aromatherapy-Humidifier/dp/B014SF6MBI/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1453931115&sr=1-1 Has fun lights and works ok so far. I will check out your recommended ones. I made the grievous error of asking an acquaintance about Young Living diffusers since I knew she used their products. I thought she was totally normal or I never would have said a thing. However, she spammed me by text, email and snail mail after that and must have given my name to many YL people in her chain who also spammed me. NEVER AGAIN. I can get my quality EOs from Whole Foods and the co-op until my end of days, tq very much.

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    1. YOU ARE MY PEOPLE! Finally! Your comment is making me feel much less crazy ;)

      I feel like I'm being dramatic complaining about dumping and vinegar-ing since it really doesn't take much time but I absolutely hate it, too! It's just the multiple parts and all the moisture dripping everywhere and the baby screaming because he wants to twist the knob and splash in the base and making sure everything is thoroughly swished and filling it up to the very top so the motor won't burn out and trying to fit the tank back on correctly... GAH! HATE IT. The most peaceful humidifier days are the ones when the kids are at school and I remember to do it all pre-pick up so when they go to nap / rest, I just have to turn them on and no one is whining or trying to knock the whole operation onto the carpet.

      Do you just love your diffuser? How many hours does it run? Ours runs about six and I love the automatic shut off and then peaceful transitioning colors (although E can't sleep with them on - boo). They are 60% off this week on Amazon so I just pulled the trigger on a 3rd one since both kids love having one in their room and I'm sick of sharing. And yessssssss to the damn YL people! I use mostly the Now brand EOs, happily purchased from our local grocery store or Whole Foods!

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  6. Was definitely meaning to ask you about the humidifier cleaning- surely you don't mean EVERY DAY OMG. I am not going to tell you how often I clean mine but was feeling pretty okay about it until now. Clearly need to up my game to meet okay level eeeeeek.

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    1. Does it make me less crazy that we only use them when the kids are really congested?? So it's not like every day, every day!

      And trust me, there is a multitude of other areas where I more than make up for this particular obsessive tendency!

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  7. What essential oils do you use in the diffusers? I'm just getting into diffusing essential oils (got suckered into Young Living from a friend but looking for an alternative).
    Lucy @ Humidifier For Baby

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  8. We bought crane penguin air humidifier for my daughter's room, and she loves her penguin. It does a great job of humidifying her room and easy to set up and is extemely quiet.

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happy little comments!