Monday, May 28, 2012

Dirty Diapers- The last three days rolled into one post

Whew! One week of using nothing but flats. I wasn't sure if I would make it through the second half of the week. The first four days of the challenge we were mainly at home. Sure we ran a few errands, went to church, and went berry picking, but we were never too far away from home. 
Then Thursday night the boys and I packed up and went on a road trip.

 My cousin was graduating high school. Originally we planned on just going for the graduation. It's a little over a four car drive to where they live from our house. My plan was to leave early Friday morning, hang out with the amazing extended family I have over there, attend the graduation, and then head home.
I called my aunt to give her a head's up about our plans, and she graciously suggested that we come up that night and stay with her family.

I packed all the clean flats that I had, plus a few doublers, I thought about bringing the freshly washed flats and letting them think of a good place to put the wet diapers to dry. I changed Spain's diaper and used a flannel topped doubler to give him a stay-dry feeling. Loaded the boys, and the dog into the car and off we went.
I decided to play everything by ear. We arrived at my aunt's house as the clock struck midnight. Twenty minutes later, we were all in bed. The next morning the real fun began. I had brought a small disposable bag of powdered laundry detergent, so that I didn't have to put off washing. I've learned that immediately rinsing diapers makes washing them so much easier. In the morning I let the dirty diapers soak in the sink with a little laundry detergent, while I took a shower. Three rinses, and a tight wringing later they were stashed safely in my wet bag ready for phase two. Since we weren't going to do a lot of driving, I decided to let the diapers dry in the car. I spread them out on the dash and left them there to dry. Four hours later, they were dry and ready for use again.
I did one other load of incognito washing before we left. These ones I left in the wet bag, since we were driving and I didn't have a space to put them.

So the stats:
31 hours away from home. 8.5 of which were spent in the car driving. 10 flat diapers, 5 fleece topped doublers, and 2 covers. 2 loads of washing away from home. Completely success!!
I even had 4 clean diapers still in our bag when we got home, thanks to the incognito hand washing.


Honestly a week of using flats wasn't as intimidating as I expected. Doing laundry wasn't my favorite activity, but it wasn't horrible. Once we found a system, it worked out fantastically. I did buy a set of Boingos which arrived on Friday. They weren't the greatest with the receiving blanket diapers, but they work fantastically with our prefolds.
We did practice some ECing again. Spain doesn't walk yet, but he does show signs of being ready to use the potty, and hey, every time he uses the potty that's one less diaper I have to wash! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dirty Diapers

How I’m Doing- My Thoughts on Handwashing

I don't hate hand washing as much as I expected to. My arms and shoulders are starting to feel like jelly. I better have some fantastically toned arms after this week!!
 I've moved my laundry facility from the kitchen to the bathroom, and wash a load every three diapers. Three diapers is the perfect load size, it's small enough to fit in our bathroom sink, and it also means I'm not anxiously waiting for the clean wash diapers to dry while I eyeball my dwindling stash of clean dry diapers.

It's a bit bizzarre to figure out how much laundry detergent to use in a tiny bathroom sink. My washing machine uses 3-4 TABLESPOONS of detergent. I have no idea how much water my washer hold, but my sink comes no where close to using that much. I have to fight the urge not to sprinkle "just a little more" detergent in when I'm washing.

Tomorrow is going to be the true test. We will be away from home ALL day. That's right, all day long. I haven't figured out how I'm going to do this challenge. 

What did I get myself into?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dirty Diapers-

 How Do I Use My Flats?

Well obviously, I'm using flats as diapers. My fold of choice is a basic rectangle fold.
I start by laying my flat on the floor.

Then I fold it into thirds. If It's a narrower receiving blanket, then I will just fold it in half.

For the Spain's size*, the diaper needs to be about half the length. I fold one end over. This will be the front of my diaper.  

I fold the flap over one more time. My diaper is now a good size for Spain. 

To put this diaper on Spain, I bring the front corners together. This will make a nice leg gusset to contain any nastiness that might try to escape.

Time to add a little baby.

Then I pin the diaper one side at a time.

And we're done!

*I figured this out through trial and error. I fold the diaper, stick Spain on it and then see if I need to make it shorter or longer.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dirty Diapers- The supplies

Here's my general set up. 

My "flats" are all receiving blankets. They just don't seem big enough to be used as a blanket, but they are perfect to be used as a diaper. 
I have an assortment of covers, most of which are not pictured. We use fleece shorties, wool, and your average PUL covers.

See? Dino diaper. What's not to love?!

My fastener of choice are pins. However I do have a couple Snappis. 

The doublers that I use as needed, are mostly burp cloths, there are a few wash cloths thrown in.

For washing I'm using the kitchen sink, a 10 quart bucket, latex free rubber gloves, and of course, laundry detergent. My drying rack is a basic vertical drying rack that I picked up for less than $20.

Why Ice Cream is bad

Today was one of those "can't-keep-up-I-can't-remember-what-color-our-couch-is-DID-I-FEED-the-children-today?" kind of days. You know the type. By three o'clock I was in desperate need of either a grown up beverage or ice cream. Since it was only three o'clock, I decided ice cream was the way to go. Unfortunately we had no ice cream. I knew danger was imminent if we did not  leave the house, so I tossed Spain on my back, slapped a hat on Alex's head, and we trudged two blocks to the commissary to get ice cream. 

During the walk we waited on hold with our internet provider. As soon as we reached the commissary, Alex began his 10 point inspections of the car carts. You know, the shopping carts that were mated with Little Tyke cars in an attempt to make grocery shopping with little children somewhat less traumatic. As Alex approached the fourth hybrid cart, I announced "This one's perfect!!" I swung Spain out of the baby carrier and strapped him into Driver's Seat A. Alex gave me a patronizing look as he climbed into Driver's Seat B "I was trying to find one with a working horn" He explained patiently. I know. That's why I stopped you before you found one. 

By the time we got to the glorious ice cream display, we were talking to a real human trying to figure out our internet difficulties. Twenty minutes later we were still standing in front of the ice cream display as the very nice Indian Jan and I discussed our internet issues. The boys were starting to get skittish. The Hybrid cart was losing it's novelty and it was all my fault!!
I wrapped things up with Jan, we grabbed some Ice Cream (with more than 5 ingredients in it. -10 points), and turned down the yogurt aisle. All of a  sudden the hybrid cart novelty was gone. Spain was screeching like a baby velociraptor and trying to shove Alex out of the cart. I pulled over and pulled Spain out of the cart. Alex got back in to drive, and I awkwardly carried Spain in one arm while pushing the cart. This is where things begin to go HORRIBLY WRONG.
 We stopped in front of the eggs. The price tags for the eggs were on the very bottom shelf, conveniently placed where you could not read them through the door. I put Spain on the floor, right between our cart and door to the egg case, just in case he had any ideas about escaping, then launched myself into the egg case, at an angle that would have impressed a circus contortionist. As my eyes landed on the array of price tags, I saw Spain's diaper cover hit the ground. 

Normally, this wouldn't be an issue, because I like pins. You pin the diaper on, and it's not going anywhere. Cover on. Cover off. The diaper stays in place. 
But I didn't use pins this time.

Now I have your attention. 

That's right. I didn't use pins. Or a Snappi. Or any other type of fastener. I folded my flat into a rectangle, stuck it in a cover and off we went. It would have worked perfectly, except that in my haste to get out of the house I didn't put pants on Spain. When he was in the carrier on my back he couldn't get to the cover, but while wrestling in the confining space of the hybrid cart................

I jerked out of the egg case, in a flash I grabbed the diaper and quickly and awkwardly tried to cover el nino up. The folded flat kept sliding out of place, and EVERYONE in a two mile radius suddenly needed eggs. I forgot how to breathe as I pushed the cart over to a cracker display. Spain, at this point realized that I was cramping his style, and went into thrashing mode. Have you ever held a diaper less thrashing baby in the middle of the grocery store? It will bring you closer to God. 
At this point, through what I can only describe as Divine Intervention, the cover cinched into place, the dairy department empty and I could hear the faint sounds of the Hallelujah chorus being piped through the sound system.

I learned something important today.

Never under estimate the power of pants.... Or at the very least, use a cover that snaps instead of velcros.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dirty Diapers

I live!!!
 I know there was some concern, given the silence of my blog. But everything is fine. We are in fact, all still alive.
  It's no secret that we use cloth diapers with Spain. I'm a huge fan of cloth diapers for hundreds of reasons. I'm always a little taken aback when people site time, money and convenience as reasons not to try cloth.  We started using cloth diapers when Alex was born... Actually it was right after we used the last of the disposable diaper supply we received as baby gifts. He was about two month old at the time. Sweet husband was in school and working part time. I was had taken the semester off and had not gone back to work. The truth was, we couldn't afford to buy disposable diapers. 
  We started off with Gerber prefolds. Then I made some fitters. I soured wholesale co-ops for fabric and snaps. I slowly started buying fitters. Before I knew it I had a sizable stash and was completely converted.
As soon we brought Spain home he was cloth diapered. Our stash has everything; fitteds, prefolds, all-in-ones, pocket diapers, and flats. When I head about the Flats and Handwashing challenge, I knew I needed to try it.  

“Why I’m Taking the Challenge”

  Because it's extreme. In an age where everything is automated the idea of washing clothing by hand seems antiquated. The idea of washing diapers by hand seems almost barbaric. As far extreme challenges go, this is a safe one. I don't have to worry about broken legs, lack of food, language barriers or hitch hiking. It's laundry and it's diapering my baby. Both would be happening anyway, I'm just taking a different path on it.
  I only have a few flats. That means I'm going to be forced to think ahead and try to be prepared. I won't be able to put off doing laundry. Between you and me, I'm excited about being forced to be organized for a week. 

Oh, and the hippy points. I'm totally doing it for the hippy points.