Friday, June 20, 2014

Barf on carpet!

Somehow, in almost 8 years of parenting, I'd managed to avoid the pleasant experience of vomit on the carpet. When one of my boys graced me with the experience the other day I pulled out the Windex, wiped it up and called it good.
Silly me.
Of course it still smelled putrid the next day. The while room did. So I googled it, I threw my concern out into Facebook world, and what I decided to use was magical.
Watered down vinegar.
1 part white distilled vinegar: 2-3 parts water in a clean, empty squirt bottle.
I sprayed it on the stink, patted up some if the excess, and when the vinegar solution dried all smells went with it! My extra-sensitive pregnant nose can't be fooled, it worked.
Like magic!
My mother in law always pulls out a bottle of this stuff and I thought, "Okay, that's weird." But it's not. She's a genius. Vinegar water is also good for pet accidents and just about any cleaning around your home.
Let me know if it works for you!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Nissan truck rumbling

So our 2005 Nissan Pathfinder started rumbling at certain when I'd ease my foot off of the accelerator. Felt almost like I was driving over rumble strips.
I googled it one day and the best thing I found was a huge online forum discussing problems people have had with their Nissans. After extensive research I realized Nissan had installed a faulty line between the radiator and transmission, causing the fluids to mix and a whole big mess.
In short, if you have this problem both parts have to be replaced. Call your nearest Nissan dealership and, if that is the problem in the end, they will check it for free. Then you have to pay something, how much depending on how many miles your car has (the more miles, the more you pay). We paid $3,000 to have Nissan repair something that was their fault in the first place, and that was thousands less than it would have been anywhere else (we shopped around). To top off the goodness I'm pretty sure they put in the same exact parts that went bad in the first place.
So how do you know if your Nissan has the problem? If you own a Nissan truck if any sort, especially if it was made in the 2000's, check to see if your transmission fluid and coolant have mixed. The sooner you spot the problem and get it into a Nissan dealership, the better. Here's a good video that shows how.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dry erase marker on wood!

Elijah, as many 2 year old's would, decided to use a RED dry erase marker on the wood of our poäng chair foot rests and our almost-while carpet.
That's what I get for trying to teach my 5 yr old to read. :-P
I googled how to remove marker from wood and got all kinds of crazy responses. I didn't want to go buy strange cleaners I'd never heard of so I pondered what to do instead.
Want to know what so easily worked on both problems?

Yep, Dawn dishwashing soap.
 I squirted a little on a rung-out-wet rag and scrubbed. Came out of the carpet, wiped off of the wood.
Wa-la! Like magic I say. Best magical dish soap I've ever had AND safe on wood and carpet. :-)
Now I did this right after he'd drawn on the wood. A different time I didn't notice until a few days later and Dawn didn't work. Instead I squirted a small amount of dry erase marker spray (you know those little squirt bottles to clean dry ease market off of white boards). Wiped right off the wood!
If have this issue, let me know if these solutions work for you, too!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Review of University Manor East in Hershey, PA

When my husband was accepted to Penn State Hershey Medical School starting in 2010 I scrambled to find a place to live. We're from the west coast so knew nothing about the area. I searched for information about the on-campus housing but all I found were some outdated pictures on the school's website. What I REALLY wanted was a review from someone who had lived there.
So I'm going to write one, hoping to aid those who are heading to Penn State Hershey in the future.
We ended up renting a 3 bedroom apartment from University Manor East. As we pulled up my first impression was that it looked outdated.

Then we went inside. Now we'd been students living in smallish apartments the past 5 years (my husband only had one semester of college under his belt when we'd met, I don't totally recommend it) so I was amazed at how big it was! And it had been recently renovated.
You enter through a hallway of closets (LOTS of storage) that leads to a smallish yet decent sized kitchen and a huge living room. There's a decent sized fenced-in patio off of the living room with a strip of dirt just outside of it (if you're on the bottom floor) where you can plant flowers (no vegetables allowed, which was disappointing but I made some amazing flower beds) and a decent sized dining room off the kitchen. Awesome. Just off the kitchen is a dining room. Not big enough to open our pub sized table up to a 54"x54" square, but big enough with it closed.
Then you go down another hall to 3 good-sized bedrooms. The master is long and narrow--kind of awkward--but so big it could've been 2 rooms. When we had baby #3 we used the other half as a nursery.
Outside your door is a good sized storage shed and a big playground where the neighborhood kids are often found frolicking around. When I was there Moms (and sometimes Dads) also congregated so everyone had a friend, usually one in the same position as you. For me, having that support as the wife of a medical student was AWESOME.
The office staff where you go to pay rent were nice, though I felt they went out of their way to charge me for things. It's not that way for everyone, I'm sure.
Maintenance was great at getting to repairs and there are a lot of rules (no pets except fish, no portable dishwashers, etc) but you have to weigh the good in with the bad. When you're renting there's no perfect place unless price isn't an issue. Did I mention that utilities are included in rent? It sure was nice not to stress about the thermostat.
The biggest con is the life flight helicopters that fly overhead. They're very loud at all times of day and night but you soon get used to them and learn to tune them out.
Also, many of the walls are made of brick, which darkens the rooms that already don't have their own lighting. You need to get a hold of lots and lots of lamps!
So if communal living seems like it's for you (with the close quarters of some interesting people, good and bad, and hearing your neighbors when they yell or the kids run around above your head), I highly recommend University Manor East.
As far as the 2 bedrooms go, everyone I've talked to seemed happy with them, though they don't have the extra outside storage that the 3 bedrooms do.
Feel free to ask any questions!
Thanks for reading and good luck at Penn State!