The End of Another Day

Today is over. It was a day. My heart is breaking for those in Oklahoma. Especially the families of those children.

I hugged my baby tight today. And I hugged my husband tight.

Aside from the heartbreak, today wasn’t bad. Our second day of the challenge was a success. I just finished today’s handwashing load and I have come to a conclusion:

I need gloves.

Working the plunger and wringing out the diapers is starting to tear up my hands.

Also, I have determined my daughter is a ticking time bomb. She hasn’t pooped since before the challenge. Every diaper I change I’m afraid is going to be it. It’s only a matter of time…

But Handsome and I decided to test fate, and we took Bug out. We went to Dairy Queen and Barnes and Noble. No poo! But we did find some fun toys!

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20130521-231844.jpgI love those chubby legs!! Playing at the train table.


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This one is my favorite… We found Star Wars toys! She LOVED the Millenium Falcon! But I think she may be secretly on the Dark Side…hiding that storm trooper behind Daddy’s back!

But it’s bed time now. Hubby heads out on a business trip tomorrow. We will miss him, but he will be back soon. He will miss out on most of the challenge, but he doesn’t seem too upset about that… I don’t know why….

Flats Day Two – The Stash

Bug is napping, so I’ll take this opportunity to tally up my supplies and accessories that I’ll be using this week.

I posted earlier about putting my bucket washer together. Here are the stats:

Bucket and cover: Lowes – $2.78, $1.28
Plunger: Ace Hardware – $4.00 (can’t find the actual price, but this was close. I looked everywhere for a cheaper one!)
Total: ~$8.06

For the diapers:
Kelly’s Closet – 3 Palm Tree Cover, 1 Dozen Osocozy Flats, 1 Snappi  – $54.82 (x2)
Target Flour Sack Towels 4-pack – $3.98 (x2)
Receiving blankets – gifts at our baby shower
EconoBum covers – 4 gifted, one borrowed.
Green Bees cover – $5
Total: $122.60

Grand Total: About $130.

I also use Charlie’s Soap, which cost about $13 at a whole foods store. But that breaks down to $0.13 a load… even less when handwashing!

And Bug is still sleeping! Going on an hour and a half, WOOT! Let’s see what else this Momma can get done before she wakes up! I’ll try to post again tonight about how our day went.

Note: I should add that I had most of this before the challenge. All I bought for the challenge was the bucket, plunger, and the flour sack towels. So $12!

Flats and Handwashing – Day One!

Today was the first full day of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge! We survived!

Dirty Diaper Laundry has given writing prompts for those of us who are blogging about the challenge. Today’s prompt is “Why did you decide to do this challenge?” Well, I’ll tell you!

We have cloth diapered Bug for probably 9 out of her 12 months. A friend of mine turned me on to cloth when she began using them for her son. I was impressed with how easy they were to use, how totally adorable a “fluffy butt” was, and how economical they were.

When my Bug was born, I registered for a LOT of diapers, a little bit of everything. We were given some of them, but not much. But we made do. When Bug was about 4 months old, I decided I needed more to be able to keep her in cloth, but not spend every day doing laundry.

However, we are not rich. In fact, compared to a majority of society, we would be considered low-income. So instead of buying the expensive pocket diapers or all-in-ones, I found a bundle that gave me the most bang for my buck, while still looking cute. I ended up with 6 new covers and 24 flats. And I fell in love.

The laundry load shrank down considerably. I could still use the pocket diapers when we went out, or when Daddy was on duty. (Though Handsome has been super with his willingness to learn how to use all of our diapers, including flats.)

However I wasn’t really aware of the awesomeness that is flats. Then I started looking around at different diaper blogs. And I stumbled across this challenge! I figured, hey! That looks like it would be easy, since we use flats all the time anyways! And what’s a little extra work to wash them? Plus, I needed an excuse to ask Handsome to set up a clothesline!

Then I started reading more about flats, different kinds of flats, different folds, and I got really excited. I knew I could do this!

So, the short answer to “Why did I decide to do the challenge” would be because it sounded fun!

Here’s a little insight into our first day of the challenge.

I didn’t get a pic of our first change of the day, but here is the second. This is a receiving blanket, folded into what is called the Kite Fold. I was really happy with how it fit Bug and how it fit inside a cover. It also lasted longer than one of my regular flats, since it’s bigger and more absorbent. Plus, it’s super cute!

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After the blanket diaper, we tried out our new flour sack towels. These are bigger than the flats I usually use, but a similar material. Plus, they are super cheap! 4 for $4! Bug made this change a bit difficult by wanting to sit directly in the middle of whatever I was trying to fold. I even thought I could distract her by letting her have this one and folding up another one… but she figured me out and crawled right into the middle of the second diaper! I finally got it folded up into a “Jo” fold and got it on her. It worked pretty well!
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Bug was playing with the wipes package all day, so when I heard it crinkling, I didn’t think anything of it. Then I looked. She had gotten the package open and was very happily pulling wipe after wipe out of the package! Ack!! I scooped up most of them and saved them in a ziplock for later…
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I finally got the wash done after Handsome got home from work. I started the wash about 2 hours earlier, but Bug just wouldn’t let me finish. Since Handsome will be out of town for most of the challenge, I’ll probably end up washing after Bug goes to bed for the night and hanging on the rack over the air vent.
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Here’s my stash for the week! It consists of oSoCozy flats, flour sack towels, and receiving blankets. Plus covers from EconoBum, Palm Tree, and Imagine. I’ll post more about my stash tomorrow.
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The diaper for tonight is an experiment! That is an origami folded blanket, with a pad folded flat as a doubler. It took both me and Handsome to get this on Bug. She was overtired, and kept planting her feet and pushing herself off the diaper. I’ll try a fancy fold again tomorrow, but if she still fights me I may just stick to two flats pad folded together. It’s quick to get on, and I know it works.
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Here’s Bug with her nighttime diaper on. I rolled the legs in after I got it on her and covered it with an EconoBum cover. The cover was having a hard time covering the whole thing. I may try an Imagine cover next time, since they have an extra gusset around the legs, they may cover better.
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That was our day in a nutshell! Tomorrow we start again! Now I’m going to go cuddle my hubby and watch Dancing With The Stars. Goodnight!

Before the Challenge…

I posted before about taking part in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. This is the first year I’ve done the challenge, but I’m really excited about it. As I said before, we use flats every day, so I’m hoping this won’t be too hard.

These are what I have for flats so far. I got these in a kit from Kelly’s Closet that came with 12 flats, 3 Palm Tree covers, and a snappi. I got 2 kits. So far, I love the flats. They are sold as 27x27in, but after prepping them and almost a year of use, they are now 26×23.

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I still really like them, even though they are smallish and very much NOT square. We primarily use them in a pad fold inside a cover, but I’m currently experimenting with different folds such as the origami and diaper bag fold.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

About a week and a half ago Handsome and I went to Lowes and picked up the bucket for my camp washer. I’ll be using this contraption to hand wash my diapers next week. I decided to do a trial run, so I knew what I was getting into before it was too late to back out!

Here it is, complete with a brand new plunger. Handsome drilled all the holes for me, including several in the plunger to make it easier to use.

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For my first run through, I grabbed the first flats I found off the top of my wet bag. Ended up being 2 covers, 3 flats, and a thick fleecy doubler I used overnight. I should mention there were no poopy diapers in my trial run.

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Filling up for my first rinse. I used cold, just like I do in the washer. I may use warm next time. (Dontcha love my bathtub hippo?)

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Plunging… first rinse was about 5 minutes.

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Added detergent and HOT water. I used about 1/2 tsp of Charlie’s Soap, but I need to adjust the amount. I believe I did a washing run for 5-10 minutes… I need to set a timer next time.

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I did a hot rinse and 2 cold rinses after that, but I think I either didn’t rinse long enough or change the water often enough. The flats came out feeling REALLY scratchy. Even after shaking/beating them up once they were dry.

Here’s my new clothes line set up on the back deck. I love it! It’s just right for drying diapers.

I read after this that it helps to roll covers in a towel to get excess water out… I didn’t. So these took a long time to dry.

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And to finish off my post, here’s a pic of my little Bug! She just turned 1, she is 23lbs and 29in. I’ll let you know how the new and different folds fit her and how the challenge goes. Tomorrow I’m making sure all my diapers are clean and ready to go!

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Once Upon A Garden

I would like to introduce you all to our little garden! We opted for a container garden this year, since we weren’t prepared to dig a garden. Next year we hope to do raised beds, but I guess that depends on how this year goes.

So here is a snapshot tour of our garden as it is so far!

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Here it is! This isn’t all we have planned, but this is as far as we’ve gotten for now. We got our bins and our soil at Ollie’s, a discount wonder world here in Chattanooga. Our plants came from Walmart. Discount gardening at it’s best!

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(I took this pic this morning) Here are our Boston Pickling Cucumbers and zucchini.

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Here are two of our tomato plants, with their pals, Marigolds! We also have two jalapeno plants that are being temporarily housed here until we get another bin. Alcott the cat decided that they would be a good snack, so they needed a little TLC.

We are growing three kinds of tomatoes. A yellow cherry, romas, and a yellow and red tomato called “Mr. Stripey.”

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A close-up of a fast friendship!

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We had the window boxes already, and they were perfect for our herbs. This one smells AMAZING.

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Handsome wanted this one. I didn’t complain!

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The cilantro is a pair with the roma tomatoes. Handsome has visions of salsa in our future!

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This one is for me! Another one that smells just wonderful. I’m not sure what I will do/make with it yet, but I’m looking forward to figuring that out!

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My watering can. I love that I have a watering can!

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Ahh, yes. This is what summer should be about.

We still have more we want to do. I really want to grow potatoes. We bought a potato bag, but Walmart was out of red seed potatoes. We will be going back though!

We are also planning to grow garlic. We have a second window box that will be dedicated to garlic.

We love garlic…

I’ll keep you updated as we add more to our little back porch garden. Now I just need to be patient while everything grows!

Cloth Diapers

Many of you know that we use cloth diapers on Bug. If you didn’t know that, well, now you do!

We got turned on to cloth diapers when a friend of ours had her baby, and she began using cloth. I babysat for her many times, and was able to use the diapers, and I grew to see the logic behind them. Plus, they are super cute!

There are SO MANY options for cloth diapers… flat, pre-fold, pocket, all-in-one, all-in-two, covers, fitted, etc. They come in every price range too. There are “bicycle” cheap, all the way up to the cadillac of diapers, costing well over $20 a piece. 

When we found out I was pregnant with Bug, we started seriously looking at cloth diapers, and figuring out what we wanted. We registered with a great site, http://www.KellysCloset.com, and were given several when Bug was born. Since then, my stash of diapers has grown, we have figured out what works best for Bug (some that we were given definitely did NOT work), and we’ve dealt with detergent reactions.

Now Bug is a year old, and we have perfected our cloth diaper routine! We use mostly flat diapers under a cover. We have all-in-ones for going out, as well as some pocket diapers that we use both out and home. 

So when I saw this challenge at Dirty Diaper Laundry, I thought “We can do that!” 

I’ll be asking Handsome to make me a camp style washer. I don’t think he will mind. Something like that is handy to have around! 

So check back in May to see how it’s going. I’ll try to keep this up-to-date through the challenge. This will be fun!!

Sewing Machine

I haven’t posted in a while… Sorry!

We have reliable internet now though (thank goodness!) so I hope to post more often! As often as Bug will let me, that is!

Today’s excitement is this… my sewing machine! I found this gem on CraigsList a few months back for $50. I wanted a older machine. The new ones that I have used have just given me headaches and sloppy seams. This one is perfect! The lady I bought it from only used it about 3 times since she bought it in grade school. It’s been in her garage since.

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Ignore all the clutter in the background. I’m working on clearing it all up. We still have boxes and things that haven’t been unpacked and put away yet. Hopefully we will be clutter free soon!

Also, the project I have on the table is a quilt that I started before Bug was born… But I was borrowing a sewing machine that didn’t like me. The blocks have been in a drawer since about last March. (Yes, over a year!) I did pull them out a few months ago and hand sewed a few blocks together, but it went so slowly….

Then I learned how to crochet. And that has been my primary crafty pursuit since. I’ve made some great things, have a lovely stash of yarn, and have more projects I’m about to start! But I really want to finish this quilt, since it’s for Bug. Now that I have my own machine, maybe I’ll finish it before her second birthday!

Speaking of birthdays, my little Bug turns ONE on Friday!! I can’t believe she’s a year old already!! It’s been a super year, with lots of firsts. For me and her!

We are having a birthday party here at the house Friday afternoon. Just a few close friends of ours and Bug’s. It should be fun! I think it’s supposed to rain though… so pray for sunshine! Bug will have her first taste of cake and ice cream, a tradition that has been in my family since… well… at least since I was 1! We will take LOTS of pictures, and I’ll post some of the best ones here.

I think that’s all for right now. This momma is hungry! Time to see what we have for lunch.

Yarn…

I received some coupons in my email to JoAnn’s… I couldn’t say no…

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Handsome is wonderful and took me last night to spend money. Look at all that beautiful yarn! I actually DO have projects planned for almost all of it too. Just need to finish up what I’m already working on before I can start!

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I think I’m going to need a bigger stash bag… This one is already almost over flowing…

Next on the project list for me is another hat for Bug. I’ve decided to make a kitty cat hat! It’s going to be adorable. And it should be quick to whip up. I’ve already gotten started on it, hopefully it will be finished for the weekend!

After that, I’ve gotten my first order for a hat with hair! That hat is the same kind as Bug is wearing in my previous post, the one with braids. One of my friends from high school ordered it for her little girl. I’m excited! Not only do I get to create something fun for a friend, but I’m getting paid for it!! Guess what that money is going to be spent on…

More yarn!!

It’s been a while…

Hello again! I apologize for my lapse in blogging. Life carried me away! I’m back now, hopefully for good!

To catch you up briefly, Bug is crawling. She has 4 teeth. She is pulling up to standing every chance she gets. She is 10 months old, and I’m afraid she will be walking before she is 1!

Here she is in her too-small carseat (we only use this one in friends’ cars.) with the hat I made her recently. Now she has hair!… even if it is just yarn!

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I’ve taught myself how to crochet, and I’m absolutely loving it. Bug’s hat above was my first real project. (scarves are so easy, I don’t think it really counts!) Since finishing that hat, I’ve made another one for our best friends’ little boy, and I just started on one for me. We will see how it turns out.

I even have a little helper with the yarn!

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I love this kid so much. She’s growing up so fast! Here are a few pictures just from the past several days.20130304-143649.jpg

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And here’s an example of my goofball Bug. She kept pulling at her shirt, so I took it off…mostly. That mark on her cheek is a bruise from cruising along the baby gate and slipping. 😦 It’s all gone now!

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And finally, here’s our most recent family picture!

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We have some big projects coming up on the house! I’ll be posting more about those soon!

Healthy….ish

It has been a long time since I posted last… I’m sorry! Life has a way of just disappearing when I’m not looking… Not so great when raising a kid and I don’t want to miss a minute… POOF! It’s gone!

But here I am. I’m typing one-handed because my little girl wants to be in my lap. I’m also sitting crooked in my chair so she, and her spit, can’t reach the keys. 

Sometimes I think I’m raising an octopus. So many arms! And the slime!!

Speaking of the drool, I’ve heard it called “spun sugar” a lot lately. It’s not.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the drool. It comes with being a mom, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything! (not even a svelte figure, cause I didn’t have that before!) And I was always the friend who said “no problem” when a kid drooled or spit on me.

And I still don’t mind. But it is definitely not “spun sugar.” Especially when it is laden with baby sweet potatoes and spit forcefully over the spoon. Or when I’m holding Bug over my head and one of those sweet drops lands in my mouth. Or when she gets a hold of my water bottle and I don’t know it, then take a swig….

Nope. That ain’t sugar.

But I digress, what was I talking about? Oh! I’m healthy! ish…

The three of us came down with a stuffy/runny nose and a cough about a week and a half ago. Annoying, but not horrible. Bug hasn’t let on that it bothers her at all, until Mommy tries to suck the gunk out of her nose with the snot-sucker. That bothers her.

All was ok, until Wednesday night. 

I don’t really know what to blame. Was it the muffins I took out of the freezer? Or the Whopper that Handsome brought me for dinner? (I would never blame the hershey kisses…) Whatever it was, it rebelled.

I was up 3 times in the night to purge the offending out of my poor stomach. And in the morning, out the other end. 

Have I mentioned I hate, hate, HATE throwing up? I’m the one who has been known to hold my breath, plug my nose, and swallow til I turn blue just to avoid throwing up. But I had no control.

By Friday I was finally able to cough without worry. I could finally walk down the hall without hanging on to the walls. Finally able to carry Bug again.

I lost 7lbs.

Today I finally tackled the 6 loads of laundry that had built up while I was sick. Why do people have to keep wearing clothes when the laundry lady is sick? (Disclaimer: Handsome did wash a load while I was sick because we both had run out of…well, everything.)

But now laundry is on hold because I’ve run out of detergent. Time to make more. 

(Yes, I said “make.” If you want my recipe, leave a comment.)

Oh, and an update on Bug in my lap? Yes, still typing one-handed. But we’ve transitioned to nursing. She desperately wanted the computer, or anything attached to it (she’s not picky.) and nothing I was doing was satisfying her.

Best distraction was to give her a boob. (Works well with husbands too) But I don’t mind. I love nursing.

And now that I have written a post about absolutely nothing, I’m going to go. Time to put on real pants. Handsome will be home soon, and we need groceries.