As most of you know, I have three kids. A fourth on the way. A husband. A bevvy of guests that visit often.
And two dogs.
Two Golden Retrievers.
Two Golden Retrievers who spend all of 12 seconds per day outside.
Two Golden Retrievers who are gigantic and weigh 80+ pounds each.
Two Golden Retrievers who shed so much it makes me want to pull my own hair out…except that would only exacerbate the issue even further.
Honestly, it’s any wonder that my dogs aren’t bald with as much as they shed.
I think they need to be studied by scientists. It’s like the ninth wonder of the world.
I’m seriously not even being dramatic. It’s crazy.
If I go more than 24 hours without vacuuming, I literally have tumbleweeds of dog hair floating across my house.
It’s like the Wild West. Only grosser. (I even took a picture of my area rug up close but couldn’t bear to post it out of sheer embarrassment.)
I’m constantly bemoaning how much I hate my dogs. Constantly.
But the truth is, they are fantastic dogs. They are incredible with the kids. They lay there and let them crawl all over them. They have 100 times more patience than I do with my littles.
So it’s this Catch-22. Because while I regularly proclaim that I can’t wait for them to keel over and die…the truth is that they are a very real (albeit hairy) part of our family.
In the meantime, I deal with the dog hair.
And as a result, I have become a vacuum cleaner connoisseur.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have an unofficial doctorate in the field of floor cleaning. I know you’re jealous. Try to contain yourselves.
Because I *literally* have to vacuum every. single. day if I want to keep social services from taking my kids away, I have pretty high standards when it comes to vacuum cleaners.
We’ve owned three others, all to varying degrees of inadequacy.
Our latest vacuum was a Kirby. Some door to door salesman conned me into letting me into our house under the guise of being a new local carpet cleaning company. It was an ultra shady tactic. I was beyond annoyed. And he stayed FOREVER. No matter how rude I was. How often I fully LEFT THE ROOM and ignored him…name it. The kid wouldn’t leave. So I let him do his demo for the dogs. I wasn’t appreciative of the sales tactic BUT, I was impressed…and promptly scoured Craigslist for a Kirby that wouldn’t cost me the $2,000 (!!!!) he was trying to sell me.
Again, I really do like my Kirby. It is powerful and does a good job.
BUT, it weighs at least 8,000 pounds. (Okay, it’s really like 24+ pounds…but still, it’s a lot!) At first, I didn’t mind the heft, but with time, it’s gotten harder and harder (particularly when I’m pregnant and soon to be recovering from a c-section.)
(Hello bitty Baby Henry!)
And did I mention that I have stairs….CARPETED stairs?! Let’s just say that the stairs would often be left until they were horrifically disgusting and resemble shag carpeting before we would muster up the will power to vacuum them.
And hauling that behemoth up and down the stairs?
P90X got nothing on that. Bring it, Jillian Michaels.
So when the folks at Oreck agreed to send me one of their new Magnesium vacuums, I was quite literally giddy.
The Magnesium weighs all of 7.7 pounds.
Wait. Think about that. That’s the weight of an average NEWBORN BABY.
So basically, my baby’s gonna weigh what my vacuum weighs. Don’t make fun of me for thinking that is the most fantastic thing I’ve ever heard of. Because it totally is.
(He specifically asked if he could be in the photo…and then gave me this cheestastic grin.)
In fact, when the box came in the mail, Henry…who was all of FOUR YEARS OLD…said “Hey Mommy! I can carry it for you! It’s so light!” And that wasn’t even coached for blog review purposes.
It’s just insane. Particularly when you’re used to hauling around a Kirby the last few years.
But now it was time to put it to the test. I mean, I was pretty skeptical. How well could something so light really work? And on nasty dog hair to boot?
When I first started pushing it, it was so light it felt like I was pushing around a little toy vacuum. And I thought “No way this is gonna really suck up all this filth…”
But I was wrong. SO wrong.
It was amazing people. Seriously. When I was done with my upstairs, my 8 month pregnant self easily waltzed downstairs with it and did my area rug and my hardwood floors too. It worked great on both surfaces with no fiddling of settings.
As an aside, I also somehow managed to suck up part of my bedskirt…and the vacuum stopped. STOPPED. I was stressed. Stressed. Seriously?! I broke the dang thing?! Except that I didn’t break it…it automatically shuts itself off if something gets wrapped up in it!!! I find this to be a big deal. A big, awesome deal. And I think anyone with a bunch of kids would agree.
They also sent me the Ultimate Handheld Vac…which weighs all of 5 pounds. I buy that much in strawberries every week.
Henry asked me if it was his birthday present. He was toting that thing around the house sucking up all manner of I don’t even know before I could hardly get it out of the box.
I see that the vacuum love is genetic now.
But the real review came at Andy’s hands who used it to vacuum out the cars.
Now, let me clarify something for you, lest you think this is your average car vacuuming job.
Andy is INSANE when it comes to car cleanliness. You know how most moms have crackers and french fries and random preschool projects littering the car? Yeah. Not me. I’m not allowed. Because Andy pretty much believes our car interiors should be hospital sanitization status at all times. It’s annoying. Really annoying. But he’s the one who details our cars weekly, so it’s whatevs. So long as I don’t have to do it, I suppose he can be neurotic about it.
Mr. Cars-Must-Be-Ready-To-Perform-Brain-Surgery-In-Them-At-All-Times gave the handheld vac an A+++. In fact, he said it worked better (and was more convenient to use) than his big ol’ garage Shop Vac.
He has since absconded with the Handheld Vac and they may move to Bora Bora together.
So all of that to say that I’m really ridiculously happy with the Oreck brand. And that’s coming from a self-appointed certified vacuum connoisseur.
My one comment to the folks at Oreck would be that it would be nice if the Handheld vac also came with an accessories caddy. It comes with a whole bunch of attachments, which is great, but there aren’t enough spaces built into the actual vacuum so you can tote them around. Understandably, it would be bulky and hard to deal with if every single attachment was on there (and defeat the purpose of it being a handheld convenience), but it would be nice if there was a caddy/tray that mounted to the wall when you weren’t using it and you could tote around easily when you needed it. Right now, the extra accessories are kinda lying around the garage in a pile and we have to lug them around if we need them.
Also, is it weird that I dont’ really like the electric blue of the upright? If I had my choice, it would be grey or black. But that’s me being picky. Not that this should surprise you.
Now…you know I couldn’t go on and on and on about this fabulousness and not give one away to you guys, right?!
ONE lucky (randomly selected) winner will get not only the Magnesium upright…but also the Ultimate Handheld Vac!!! That’s a value of $599!!! (My most valuable giveaway to date!)
So how can you win one of these prize packs?
1. Visit Oreck.com and tell us one thing you learned about the Magnesium (Mandatory)
2. Like Oreck on Facebook (1 entry)
3. Like Life Rearranged on Facebook (1 entry)
4. Subscribe to Life Rearranged (1 entry)
That’s a total of 4 possible entries…make sure you leave a separate comment on THIS POST letting me know you followed/subscribed!!!
*Giveaway winner must be a resident of the U.S. 48 contiguous states. I feel a little bad…until I realize that you probably live in Hawaii and then I don’t feel as bad. Kidding. I did receive a Magnesium and Handheld vac for free from Oreck for review purposes, but all opinions and words are mine. And the legal folk at Oreck want me to be sure and tell you that “Oreck Corporation provided the prize for the sweepstakes but is not the sponsor of the sweepstakes.” Winner will be selected using random.org on July 7, 2012. That gives you a week. And I think that’s all.