Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Know your Audience

According to Blogger, I get a lot of referrals from a vampire stats website.

I don't really know what else to say.

Dirty Little Secrets

While doing laundry like a good housewife, I found a handful of small chocolate candies in the washing machine.

Yes. I am sure they were chocolate candies.

My first thought was someone who's name rhymes with "Crain" stuck a handful in his pocket to avoid detection and forgot them, but the load was full of grown up clothes. No little boy clothes anywhere.

Which leads to a very important question. Why hasn't Sweet Husband been sharing his chocolate stash?!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Flats&Handwashing. The END!

Day 7 of the 3rd Annual Flats and HandWashing Challenge. The challenge is to use only flat cloth diapers and handwash them for 7 days. No washing machines or dryers allowed!

The flats and hand washing challenge ended last night. I felt a sense of satisfaction as I put Spain to sleep in a flat diaper. I hadn't had a chance to wash diapers all weekend and I was down to the last one.  All things considered this challenge was pretty easy. The hardest thing for me was staying on top of the diaper laundry. We had three days of non-stop rain, and the extra humidity made the drying time much longer. I ended up needing to iron dry a few diapers, so we could finish the challenge. 

I woke up this morning and stared at the full diaper pail of weekend diapers. Technically the challenge was over I could throw them in the washing machine, but a small part of me felt like I would be cheating. The washing machine already had a line of laundry waiting it's turn to be cleaned. I resigned myself to hand washing the diapers. 

Handwashing really isn't bad. It's not as long and arduous as I first expected. But having double the normal amount of diapers to wash, it did take longer. I ironed them after washing to try and help speed up the drying process. My poor drying rack was loaded down. Ever rail was holding diapers, liners, and wipes. With he dark clouds overhead threatening more rain, I figured the diapers could use all the drying help they could get.

Now with the challenge officially over, it's time to test out Spain's new fitters! 

Oh, and you know, upload the rest of the diaper photos from my camera.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Flats&Handwashing Day 6

Day 6 of the 3rd Annual Flats and HandWashing Challenge. The challenge is to use only flat cloth diapers and handwash them for 7 days. No washing machines or dryers allowed!

I'll be honest. I'm drawing a blank as to what to write about today. Yesterday I had a thousand ideas running through my head. I was deep in "Diaperland" yesterday. I started making  some diapers and wet bags for our new niece (coming in September!). I scored some grab fitteds, and then realized Spain had to wait until Monday to try them on. *sad sigh*
I thought about telling you about the crazy wonderful thunderstorms we had ALL day. I stuck the diapers on the porch to finish drying, and they ended up completely drenched. I didn't even bother to bring them in. 
I even briefly debated sharing a little story about how Spain's new favorite game is to hide the diaper pins. I caught him hiding a set of pins inside the cover of a couch cushion. I can only imagine where the others have gone. I have no idea where the Boingos are, I haven't seen them since Monday.
Today is a day jam packed with activities. I'm praying that we have enough diapers to get through the day, and that Spain goes to bed early so I can have some special bonding time with a pint of ice cream.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Flats&handwashing Day 5

Day 5 of the 3rd Annual Flats and HandWashing Challenge. The challenge is to use only flat cloth diapers and handwash them for 7 days. No washing machines or dryers allowed!

What is working for me?  
My nighttime Kissaluv fitted is definitely NOT working out with hand washing. Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic diaper, and pretty much bullet proof when I add in the bamboo doubler. The issue is that I can't wring it out enough by hand. I checked it after 36 hours and the poor thing was still slightly damp.
However, flats topped with a bamboo doubler plus the wool cover have proven to be pretty magnificent at night time.
I cleaned everything out from underneath the boys' bunk bed yesterday. I found a crazy amount or books, and hidden under three shoes, a ball and a handful of legos, was a dusty receiving blanket. I decided not to ask questions, and threw it into my dirty diaper pile to add to the rotation.

I'll leave with my little speed demon, and go wash some more diapers!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Flats&Handwashing Day 4

Day 4 of the 3rd Annual Flats and HandWashing Challenge. The challenge is to use only flat cloth diapers and handwash them for 7 days. No washing machines or dryers allowed!

Let's talk about hand washing.

My basic routine is to rinse the diapers out in my shower as soon as I can, whether they're wet or unspeakable.
Warm wash in the bathroom sink, followed by two rinses. I wring the diapers out as best as I can, and then I hit the diapers against something hard a few times before hanging them on the drying rack.

Beating the diapers is a great trick to keep them soft as they dry. I do not appreciate folding stiff diapers, and I imagine that Spain appreciates a soft pliable diaper on his derierre, than a stiff scratchy one. So I use this technique. 

We have a handheld shower head that packs a wallop with water pressure. After I rinse the diapers out, I throw them in a diaper pail. I learned last year, that washing through out the day is less tiring than washing all at once. This year we're working on the joy of using the potty, so Spain isn't going through as many diapers in a day as he was last year.

Last night I had a total lightbulb moment. We'd been running around all day trying to check things off the always growing to-do list. I hadn't had time to wash diapers until 10pm. I stared at the pile of diapers in dismay. Washing them in the sink was going to take forever, and I just wanted to crawl in bed. Sleep deprivation is mother of invention. As I began to resign myself to the fact that I was going to spend an eternity washing diapers in the bathroom sink, inspiration struck.
I dumped the diapers on to the shower floor, flung the pail liner across the room, and proceeded to fill my now empty diaper pail with warm soapy water. After a thorough rinse, I tossed the diapers into the diaper pail and gave them some manual agitation TLC.

After two rinses to make sure I got all the soap out I deemed them clean and loaded the drying rack. Sidenote- I love that I can load the drying rack at night, and have a full rack of dry diapers by morning!

I even gave myself extra points for being green, and poured the wash water over my pitiful flower garden.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Flats&Handwashing Day 3

Day 3 of the 3rd Annual Flats and HandWashing Challenge. The challenge is to use only flat cloth diapers and handwash them for 7 days. No washing machines or dryers allowed!

I'm sure the maintenance man found himself wondering if he had accidentally driven through a magic time portal when I answered the door yesterday. Alex was sitting on the couch working on homework, I was folding the mountain of laundry that had taken up residence in our papasan chair, and Spain was running around  in nothing but a flat diaper, complete with pins. The soundtrack of our morning was a radio drama we were half listening to. The only thing missing from our vintage domestic picture of bliss, was a poodle skirt. Oh, wait, poodle skirts were not "mom clothes".

I know I'm in the minority, but I prefer pins. Snappis always left me cold, I've used them a few times, and then decided that I shouldn't bother trying to force myself to like them.  
I always keep at least one spare set of pins in the diaper bag "just in case". With a pair of diaper pins you can make almost anything into a makeshift diaper. They're also great for tightening saggy britches, holding together a tear, or just pinning something to your shirt. They're multi-purpose!
Pins don't scare Sweet Husband either. When Alex was a baby pins and prefolds were the first thing Sweet Husband would reach for when changing a diaper. I stocked up on fitteds, thinking Sweet Husband would prefer them, but he still went for the prefolds. 

A couple tips for using pins:
-Make sure they're sharp! Like knives, pins should be kept sharp. A dull pin can cause much more damage than a sharp pin.
-Store your pins in a bar of beeswax or soap.
-Here's a universal truth: A little lube makes insertion easier. If you're having trouble getting the pin through the fabric try oiling the tip. I run the tip of the pin gently across my scalp, but some people prefer a little olive oil or diaper cream. Remember: A little bit goes a long way!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Flats&Handwashing Challenge Day 2- Supplies and Prep

Day 2 of the 3rd Annual Flats and HandWashing Challenge. The challenge is to use only flat cloth diapers and handwash them for 7 days. No washing machines or dryers allowed!

My stash for this challenge is almost completely comprised of receiving blankets. You know the kind; they are too small to swaddle your baby in, and yet you have several of them. Receiving blankets are kind of like rabbits, and scobies, they just keep multiplying. My favorite place to find them is in thrift stores, around here you can pick them up for $.50 a piece. I'm also using a couple of Ikea burp cloths as flats.
My nighttime diaper is a Kissaluv fitted with a bamboo doubler. I'm not sure if that was the best choice, I'm not 100% sure it will be dry by bedtime. We'll find out.

Here's the break down.

10 Recieving Blankets -  $1 (Most were gifts, but I did thrift a few of them)
2 Ikea Burp Cloths -$4
1 Kissaluv Fitted -$10 (Used)
2 Grovia Covers -$15 (Clearance)
2 Bummis Covers -$15 (Used)
1 Wool soaker -$15 (Clearance)
3 Pocket diapers -$21
3 Bamboo doublers -$3
1 Wet bag -Free (I won it 6 years ago when Alex was in diapers. It's still going strong!)
1 set of Boingos -$4
Assorted Pins -$3

Grand Total =$91

I could cut this down further if I needed to. I totally splurged on the Ikea burp cloths. I could pick up eight receiving blankets at a thrift store for $4. Last year I didn't use a night time diaper, this year I wanted to give it a try and see if having a night time diaper would be feasible with hand washing in the morning and being ready to use at night.
Last year, I didn't use wool during the challenge, but I do love wool, so I decided to throw some into
The pocket diapers are necessities this year, as Spain spends a few hours each week in our church nursery. The nursery workers are more than happy to use cloth, as long as pins/snappis/boingos aren't involved.
If I had cut out the wool, the nighttime diaper, the Ikea burp cloths and commited to either Boingos OR pins I could have shaved ~$33 off my total cost.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Flats & Handwashing Challenge (The Sequel) Day 1

We were "supposed" to move this summer. I had to use quotation marks, because we're a military family, and plans have a way of changing in the military. 
When I decided to do the Flats & Handwashing challenge this year, I had planned on using it as a moving trial for me. Moving means hotel stays, life without a washer and dryer, and lots of expenses that you didn't quite plan on. I was hoping to simplify things by switching to flats for a while. Alas, I made to many plans in advance, and our plans were unexpected changed. We're no longer moving!

Sweet husband was deployed during last year's challenge, so he's never had to deal with flats before.
I  sat Sweet Husband down this morning to break the news to him. I gave him a quick outline:
-Flats only. No All-in-ones. No prefolds. No fitteds. For one week.
-No Dryers or washers, you must hand wash.
As soon as I said "hand washing" he looked at me and deadpanned "that's all you."

I figured, I should probably show him how to fold a flat into a cover anyway. Sweet Husband, isn't afraid of changing diapers, but he is afraid of messing with my "crazy Hippy ideas"*

So, ready or not, here we GO!

*My words, not his.