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Two LJ Genie questions today:

1) Anyone have experience with a Honda Element? We're considering getting one as a mid-sized reliable familymobile.

2) Anyone have experience whitening their teeth with drugstore kits/devices? Did it work? I'm considering treating myself to it now that my braces are off, since, though my teeth indeed be straight, they be also a tad yellow. I suppose tea and chocolate do have that one drawback...

In unrelated news, ultrasound says our second kiddo will be another boy! Cool. We already have all those blue clothes and toy trucks. And I have sisters and a niece if I start pining for cosmetic shopping companions.

Have a good weekend, all!


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 30th, 2009 11:48 pm (UTC)
Teeth whitening
I have always had really sensitive teeth, but using one of those drugstore teeth whitening kits (100% as directed) drove them totally crazy. If the little strippy thing even touched my gum, it receded to the point where you can see bone. At the very least, I suggest talking to your dentist if you have ever had any problems with sensitive teeth. Oh, and did I mention that the strips gave me a rash on my fingers where the strips touched them while smoothing them on my teeth? Yeah. So, sensitive teeth and/or skin -- beware!
Jan. 31st, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Teeth whitening
Ooh, I definitely have had sensitivity issues, so this is good to know. I'll be seeing the dentist soon anyway, so I'll discuss it. Thanks!
Jan. 31st, 2009 12:06 am (UTC)
Yaaaay a boy! Having all sisters I think I'm resigned to the fact that I will probably end up with 5 boys and no girls. : ) Most of my friends have boys and they are so much fun! I've noticed their sense of humor seems to develop faster than girls for some reason.

I have used the Crest whitestrips before, but because I didn't have the time to use them every day the results weren't as great as I would have liked. But there was definite whitening. They are pretty messy to put on and they don't taste that great but other than that I had no problems. Oh and my lips would get dry but that would go away as soon as I took the strips off. I think next time I'm going to spring for the more expensive yet less time consuming trays. For some reason I just can't commit to 30 minutes a day for 2 weeks.
Jan. 31st, 2009 11:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I do have a male-like sense of humor much of the time, so this is probably a good match.

Hmm, maybe I'll just ask the dentist next time I see him. Sounds like the many options can get overwhelming.
Jan. 31st, 2009 12:08 am (UTC)
When I had braces, my teeth did get quite yellow... But it faded once they were gone and I could access all my teeth!

I have used whitening toothpaste and found it ok.
Jan. 31st, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC)
I didn't realize you'd had braces! But yeah, good point, it will help just to be able to get my teeth cleaned better now. Maybe I'll wait and see a while.
Jan. 31st, 2009 12:29 am (UTC)
My best friend has an Element and loves it. Drives really well and VERY roomy inside. Ugly as all hell but it's one of the most functional vehicles I've ever encountered.
Jan. 31st, 2009 11:47 pm (UTC)
Heheh. I don't mind how they look (as long as they're not a bright obnoxious color), so that hurdle's no problem. Functionality is good! Thanks.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 31st, 2009 11:48 pm (UTC)
There are lots of cars with that boxy look these days. I think they look fine, as long as they're not Hummers. :) Interior room is important!
Jan. 31st, 2009 02:04 am (UTC)
1) Well, I drive a Honda Fit, and I know it's not the same thing, but Hondas are really reliable. Actually, I've never had any trouble with Japanese cars at all. The Element seems really roomy. Did you test drive it?

2) Never, ever try to whiten your teeth with those do-it-yourself drugstore kits. The result is not the same as a professional whitening and you may be sensitive to the active ingredients. It's always safer to go to a dentist, even if it is kind of expensive. And yeah, tea and chocolate (and coffee) do have that drawback, but they're totally worth it! :)
Jan. 31st, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
Haven't test-driven anything yet, but yes, have heard Hondas are excellent for reliability. Our Mazda is good so far too; it's just a somewhat small car.

I'll definitely ask the dentist about the whitening options next time I see him (which is soon). And I'd rather keep yellow teeth forever than give up tea or chocolate. :)
Jan. 31st, 2009 02:47 am (UTC)
Congrats on the boy!

I used a professional whitening kit, and it worked, but it took a while. Probably better off going in for one of those UV treatments, only takes one visit. Pricey though.
Jan. 31st, 2009 11:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Will see if I can find out about the UV option from my dentist. Good to know.
Jan. 31st, 2009 03:43 am (UTC)
I like the style of the Honda Element, but the 22 mpg really put me off. Why can't we get decent gas mileage?

I'm no help with off-the-counter whiteners. I got a professional set of bleaching trays from my dentist years ago, and they work great. But good luck to you!
Jan. 31st, 2009 11:50 pm (UTC)
Hmm, the gas mileage will indeed have to be considered. Then again, since it'd basically be replacing a pickup truck, it's probably still an improvement. :)
Jan. 31st, 2009 04:40 am (UTC)
Just a thought... Minivan. Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey. With two kids, and their friends and their Stuff and assorted grandparents and the camping trips and whatnot, that Element'll have too few seats before you know it. Sure, the van'll cost more, but you won't have to buy something bigger a couple of years down the road. (We bought ours one month after our second daughter was born, nearly ten years ago, and it's holding up fine, although it may just be the spilled milkshakes holding everything together. Of course, it took some major emotional readjustment -- for Ms. Renfro it meant trading in the Cabrio, and how symbolic is that? But you've got that to face with the Element, too.)

Haven't tried teeth whitening strips, but I'd spend the extra money and have a dentist do it. Doesn't seem like the ideal do-it-yourself project.
Jan. 31st, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Congratulations!
Yeah, we kind of want to stay on the small side of a minivan. (We're always compromisers.) For whatever reason, the emotional adjustment would also be much harder for me with a minivan than an Element or SUV-type thing. Bad associations, maybe. Still, there are some minivans that have a shape I like better than the general minivan look. Contrary to many folk, I'm actually kind of fond of the "boxy" cars.

Actually, we sort of want to *avoid* being the parents with the biggest, roomiest vehicle, simply because then we won't get assigned to carpool everybody everywhere. My parents always got that with the van or the massive station wagons they had--"You've got the big car, can you do it?" So we're aiming to *not* be those people. ;)
Feb. 1st, 2009 06:37 am (UTC)
Still missing my grey 1963 Citroën DS
It's a big step -- for me it would be the big SUV that I just couldn't do. (I'll bet in this post-collapse world the Honda people will quietly stop calling the Element a "small SUV".) The Element actually has plenty of cargo space, b/c the seats fold down or to the sides. It would be the lack of seating that would worry me. Our neighbor's Element, at least, has only four seats -- maybe there's a five-seat option with a bench-type seat in back? With only four, though, you can't take even one passenger along with your family. At least with any sort of Honda or Toyota you shouldn't have any reliability worries for many, many years.

Feb. 1st, 2009 06:38 am (UTC)
Oops, me, not logged in as usual. Sigh.
Feb. 4th, 2009 11:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think you're right about the four-seat thing in the Element. Thus we might consider the CRV instead, in Honda-world. Or a Mazda 5, I guess, which is very nearly a minivan.

An old Citroen, huh? Didn't Giles have something like that in the early seasons? :)
Feb. 5th, 2009 05:54 am (UTC)
I hear good things about the CR-V. The old ones had that really complicated rear door arrangement that was a pain to open and close, but the new ones have a standard liftback door. The Mazda 5 looks really appealing -- I don't know anyone who has one, but if its reliability and safety statistics are good, I'd be tempted.

Oh, right, that was Giles who had the Citroën DS, not me; I got confused again. I remember those things -- there were still quite a few around when I was a little kid. (In the Netherlands, but that's another story for another day.) They had this wonderful hydropneumatic suspension, adjustable by the driver. Parked, the car looked like a lowrider; when you started it up, the suspension pumped up and the car rose several inches. When you stopped and shut off the engine, the suspension noisily lost pressure and the car settled back to street level. The first time we rode in one my brother, who must have been about three, was concerned: "But how do you land?"

But here I am talking about cars. My son, who's two, can have long conversations on the topic, using just four words: "Car," "truck," "van," and "wow!" That pretty much covers the important points.

(Secret confession: The other Renfromobile is identical to the other Gilesmobile, derided by Spike.)
Feb. 5th, 2009 05:56 am (UTC)
Darn! C'mon, Naill, keep this straight: Log in first, THEN read, THEN post. How hard can it be?
Feb. 6th, 2009 04:29 am (UTC)
We have a Mazda already (a Protege from a few years ago, a bit small for two kids...), and it's quite reliable. The size and the road noise are my only real complaints.

I no longer know what to believe about your cars vs. Giles'. :) But that's pretty cool about the rising and lowering Citroens! (Cannot be bothered to find the diacritic mark on the keyboard...) I had no idea.

Sounds like your son is right on schedule for his vehicular fascination. I assume the girls didn't go through that--why is that, genetically, I wonder? Anyway, the construction equipment phase ought to be right around the corner. If he's at all like our son, you'll soon know way more than you need to about excavators, front-loaders, and backhoes.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 4th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Congratulations!
I'm trying to convince Steve of that utility point regarding our truck. But then, I gather he does more DIY work than you guys, so maybe it would come in handy more times per year on average. (He's used it for drywall twice in one week lately.)

I do rather like the Subarus I've seen/driven. An option for a fifth person, without being totally squashed, sounds very good. And yes on that AWD/4WD too, or at least something we can feel confident taking out on the ice if need be!
Jan. 31st, 2009 04:53 am (UTC)
as for the teeth whitening, i'm currently using the crest whitening rinse & it's working pretty good IMHO. however use it after you brush. otherwise it's an awful tasting thing. i rinse with water after, just to be sure
Jan. 31st, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
Hmm, wonder if it's peroxide that tastes so foul. It certainly can. Well, I'll look into the options!
Feb. 8th, 2009 01:20 am (UTC)
Coming late to the conversation as usual.

In defense of the Element, let me just say that we have owned one for five years now. Never getting rid of it. In the recent ice storms here, our car was the only one on our steep hilly street that could come and go as we pleased. We have a horrendously steep driveway and our Element went up and down it with no problem without it being cleared. Over the snow, over the ice.

It is sometimes a little inconvenient with the back seats and more than three back there. We've rigged it. But we have loaded it floor to ceiling to camp at Pennsic War every August. It is an amazing car for excursions and family camping. Or hauling most things - we do a Halloween haunt, so we haul some big and unusual things. Easy to keep clean. There is a great deal of versatility to it. We adore it. And the teenage daughter says that it's so ugly that it's cool.

Plus it hauls half a dozen "zombies" to a zombie walk yearly with no mess, no problems.

Feb. 11th, 2009 04:43 am (UTC)
Thanks for the info! Glad it's working out so well. Hmm, I'll have to take a closer look at the back seat configuration. I did think there were only the two bucket seats, and that might not do...
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )