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Apr 29, 2011

Why Flats and Handwashing?

As I am sure you are aware, I am going to be taking part in DirtyDiaperLaundry's Flats and Handwashing Challenge that will be taking place from May 23-30. If you are unfamiliar with this Challenge, let me give a brief background on it. Moms across the internet are going to be taking a challenge, as set up by Kim Rosas over at DDL, to use nothing but flat diapers with covers and handwashing them. We are using flats because they are very very cheap (can even be receiving blankets) and they dry super fast. Why handwashing? Well, that is because we want to show moms who do not have washers and dryers, that cloth diapers are still an option. You can learn more in depth information in Kim's post that is linked above.

Now, why am I joining in this challenge?
Well, for one, I want to be a part of a group of moms that wants to show people that just because you need to use a laundromat for your clothes, you don't have to use disposables. I have heard many moms say that they don't think they can use cloth diapers because they do not have ready access to a washer and dryer. Yes, hand washing may take a little more effort, but it is a LOT less money.
Part of me may be doing this to show myself and I can use cloth full time and that I can also use flats. I can hand-wash my diapers (making it easier to take cloth on camping trips) and it will help me to be a more effective advocate for cloth. I am challenging myself with this. I have wanted to use cloth full time with Baby C, but have always gone back to using a few disposables here and there for one reason or another.
This is also a way for me to see how my grandmother diapered her four children. my grandmother used cloth on all of her kids and she could have gone the "easy" route with disposables with her last. My youngest aunt is only three years older than me and that was the time of disposable diapers. She always used flat diapers (granted that is like all they had) and she doesn't really see why not to use them. Well, I want to see her world, even if only for a brief moment.

Until next time... Happy Diapering!

Apr 27, 2011

Preparing for "The FlatsChallenge"

I am excited to do the Flats and Handwashing Chellenge that will be taking place during the week of May 23. I really feel that advocating cloth diapering in almost any situation is what needs to happen. I have found that I am wanting to be more of an advocate for cloth use.
I have already prepped my flat diapers from Diaper Junction. I wanted to do most of my prepping and everything true to the challenge (hand prep). I was able to do this to a point, but then I wanted to make sure they were prepped enough for use, so they did go in the washer and dryer to finish things off.
Anyway, here is my prepping of the flats for this challenge.
First I jumped for joy (ok no jumping, but I was really excited) when I saw the flats had arrived. I took the diapers out of the box and bag.
I received the small flats (27" square)
Now, I didn't think of the boiling method of prepping, like DDL shows you here, so I did the stripping in the tub method. First I filled the tub with super hot water.
the tub is filling, the flats are hanging, and LJ is watching it all!
I measured out how much RnG I was going to use and poured it in while the water was going so it would help mix it all in. Then in go the flats! (Now, these were all clean diapers, and we have hard well water that we know is not that great and so water discoloration is not from dirt in the diapers but more from our water just being what it is.)
Let them chill and agitate occasionally.
After letting the diapers get happy in the water and getting some of those natural oils out, I drained the tub and wrung out the flats. Then it was time to rinse. (doing this while Hubby was at work made it so these steps were not captured) I wanted to rinse in hot water so that more of the oils and detergent could be rinsed off of the diapers. I used our shower head to spray the diapers as I hand tossed them. We have to be careful how much water we use in a day as our well is shallow, so I didn't want to do a whole second tub full of water knowing that I had other diapers to wash regularly as well. After feeling that I had the flats rinsed fairly well, I wrung them out again and put them into one of our laundry baskets to head downstairs.
Here is where my conveniences took over. I know that these natural diapers need to be washed a bit more than I could do in my tub to get the oils out and things ready for use, so in to my washer they went. I was then able to wash them with my normal routine and dry them. I did hang dry one of the flats so that I could see how long they would take to dry if hung out on my porch (screened in).
Oh how I love seeing my covers all cute on the line!
I was amazed at how fast the t-shirt and the flat dried even on my screened in porch and moderate weather outside. The shirt will be a whole second post all on it own. :)
So, slowly I am getting us ready for this awesome challenge. One of my next FlatsChallenge posts is going to be all about me making our very own camp style washer with a bucket and plunger. Can't wait!


Until next time...Happy Diapering!

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. I may receive a small monetary amount if purchases are made from using those links.

Apr 19, 2011

Take the Flats and Handwashing Challenge with me


That is right! I am joining many other cloth diapering moms in DDL's (DirtyDiaperLaundry's) Flats and Handwashing Challenge. So many of us cringe every time we think of the fact that there are moms out there who are reusing disposable diapers. It is crazy.
I understand that low income families may not have access to a washer and dryer and may have use a laundromat. That isn't always the best thing when wanting to use cloth diapers. I know I wouldn't want to haul diapers somewhere every time I had to wash my dipes. That would take a big chunk of time that I just don't have to waste. Well, Kim Rosas thought of a way to advocate for cloth use even in this situation. Flat diapers!
Flat diapers are just that, flat. One piece of material that is usually cotton and square in shape. It dries quickly and can fit pretty much any baby because you are the one to determine the size by the way you fold it. Don't have a washer and dryer? Hand wash them and they dry really fast.
I thought, hey, why not take this challenge. My only hesitation was that I don't have flat diapers for baby C. If I could get diapers I would be more than willing to take this challenge. In steps Diaper Junction. When Diaper Junction learned of Kim's challenge they decided to offer 30 moms a dozen flat diapers each for use during the challenge. How awesome is that!? I was lucky enough to be one of those 30 moms. Late last week (I would say like Thursday, maybe Friday) I contacted Diaper Junction and the next morning I found out she would be sending the diapers my way. Well, now it is Monday morning and I have my diapers! Now that is what I call fast delivery.
For one week I am going to join with other moms and use just flat diapers with 5 or less covers and hand wash them all! On top of the flats that I received from Diaper Junction, I may also add some of the flour sack towels from target if Hubby thinks it would be good to have more than the dozen we received.
Don't worry, I will be posting more on folding flats and how I prepped and washed the diapers and all of that fun stuff as time goes on. If you click on the picture at the top of the post you will be taken to DDL's post on the challenge and can learn more. I am super excited to see how this turns out for us. Who knows, I may just have to keep using flats! 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Apr 14, 2011

Busy days to come

I know that I have not been posting as much as I used to. This will continue for a little while longer until probably the beginning of May. I am working on preparing my house for a double party. LJ is going to be turning 3 on Sunday. Being Palm Sunday and then Easter the next Sunday we are waiting until early May to have his birthday party. We are also making the party a bit of a housewarming party as many of those who would be at LJ's party have not seen the house.
Yes, we have been in this house since July. Yes, it looks more like we have only been here for a month or two. My house has been a mess since we moved. Being pregnant and moving in to a new house while pregnant and in the heat of summer is not a good idea. So, we are working hard to make this house more to what we want it to be.

This has meant that this past Saturday we spent the whole day working on our enclosed porch. Now this Saturday my mom is coming over to help me with my kitchen and dining room. Every chance I get I am having to work on the house or work on some orders I have for the business. This is all on top of being a mommy to two wonderful kids.
So, please bare with me as I take care of some other priorities in my life. I will be back. I do have some reviews in the works too. I do miss blogging as much I did a month or two ago, but it was taking too much of my time that now needs to be put to other uses.

Until next time... Happy Living!

Apr 12, 2011

AppleCheeks' Accessories Review

I love using cloth diapers on my little girl. It is a wonderful thing. At times though, there are some certain accessories that you may want when using cloth. Some of these include cloth wipes, wetbags, liners, and more. Applecheeks has granted your accessory wishes.
Not only does this company have awesome looking diapers (I have yet to be able to try one of these though I have wanted to do so for AGES), they also offer different items that moms may want to use with the diapers.
First up are their Storage Sacs. Let's face it, you need a place to hold your dirty diapers before they make it to the wash. Applecheeks offers two sizes. I tried out the size 1 storage sac and let me tell you, this is one awesome size 1 storage sac! When they say "our Storage Sacs come in two generous sizes," they mean it (quote taken from website). The size 1 Sac is large enough to hold a good 6-8 diapers for newborns. Actually, if I tried, I could probably get that many of like a medium diaper in there as well. I love it! The Storage Sac has two rope drawstrings with cord stops that allow the bag to close nice and tight easily. It is also really easy to open it back up when you need to. Another feature of this Storage Sac that I like over some of the other brands is that they offer a flat bottom. The corners of this bag have been sewn so that it will sit flat on the table instead of straight edges coming to hard corners. 
I love the Storage Sac and now even use it as my night time wetbag and it is perfect for longer day trips as well. 

Another accessory that I am in love with now are cloth wipes. If I am going to be using a cloth diaper, why not use a cloth wipe as well? Now I can do so and enjoy it even more with Applecheeks' bamboo wipes. These wipes are a nice 8x8 square. The fabric that they are made out of is so soft, it isn't even funny! I love using these wipes. The coverage is great and I know that they feel nice on baby's bum. If you get any of these wipes, they will quickly become your favorite wipes (as in as soon as you open the package and feel them). 

To go with wipes, most people use a solution with their cloth wipes. Again, Applecheeks has you covered. Enter their Gentle Cleansing Solution. This can be bought in a concentrate or in a ready to use spray bottle. I love the spray bottle as it is perfect for the diaper bag. Not only does this solution cleans baby's' bum, but it can also clean hands and faces and leave them smelling nice. This solution uses Tea Tree Oil and Lavender and is all natural and a disinfectant. Gotta love that!

So, one of the last accessories that I have used in the past to make my cloth diapering life a little easier is disposable liners. I have used many different brands and some are definitely better than others. I have used some that were basically really rough toilet paper (down to the roll it came on). Others have been nice and soft and still able to hold up to toddler poos. Applecheeks' flushable liners are some of the best liners I have tried to date. They are a good size so that I can fold them for my little girl, but they would easily contain a larger mess from my son if he still wore diapers. While being soft, they really do their job of holding the mess in so that it can be easily disposed of in the toilet. I was amazed when they even held back a decent amount of Baby C's BF poo. I wasn't expecting that.

I love all of the accessories from Applecheeks that I have been able to try out. Now I would just love to have one of their diapers to use with all these great accessories! :) That is for another time though. For all of the products I mentioned in this post and many more head over to the great Applecheeks website.

Until next time... Happy Diapering!

Disclaimer: I received products for the purposes of this review. I did not receive any other monetary compensation. All opinions are 100% my own. Images contained in this review are from the company's site.

Apr 5, 2011

Diapering on little to no budget

This post comes on the heels of a great post by Cotton Babies on their blog. One of the biggest reasons moms give for starting to use cloth diapers over disposables is money. Cloth diapers can be great for saving money. Now for those who are unable to tame their addiction (yes, I am one to raise my hand timidly) cloth can get expensive at times. For those who choose cloth mainly for financial reasons tend to be able to stick to their budgeting with diapers a little better than I. At least that is my assessment. It is so hard to hear of moms who are drying out disposable diapers to save money and think that cloth is too much for them to be able to do. The post that I have linked above focuses on this problem and ways that moms may not be aware that they can cloth diaper their baby without spending much if any money.
I must say that there were a few ideas I had heard of and others that I have not seen before. Like did you know that you can use prefolds, a snappi, a fleece receiving blanket, and a onesie and you are done?
  (my newborn stash on a budget)
One option I had heard of before is folding a t-shirt and using that as a diaper. I saw t-shirt diapering once before on YouTube when just looking around at cloth diapering videos. I put this away in the back of my mind until reading this post.
So this afternoon I folded up a few different sized t-shirts and tried one or two different folds. You know what? this is a really good way to cheaply diaper your baby. It can also be really cute. I found that by using a variation of the fold used in the tutorials I have found, you can focus the diaper in on the cute patterns or designs that tend to be centered on shirts.Using this method, you can then use some great one size covers from a cloth diaper store like Diaper Junction or Kelly's Closet and you are set for almost no money.
As a side note, if you join your local Freecycle.org group online, you can probably find at least one person who has more than enough t-shirts that they no longer use, but still have around, to diaper your baby full time. 
I have also found that Diaper Junction and Kelly's Closet run some really great deals on diapers if you keep your eyes open for them. Of course these sites can also help to feed diaper addiction, so be warned. :) I find to also be good practice to check out sites like Diaperswappers.com, Freecycle.org, and Craigslist to see what used diapers you can find for very good deals (some even free).
For all of those who are working with tight budgets and you still want to consider cloth, I highly recommend reading the post from Cotton Babies (linked above) and see what you have around your house that can be used for diapering. I think you would be surprised.

Until next time...Happy Diapering!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Apr 4, 2011

We could use your prayers

I know I have not been blogging a whole lot lately, and this is post is not the only reason, but life has been pretty busy and my family will take precedence over blogging. It has to.
I am writing this blog though to ask for some prayer for my family. It has been a rough weekend. Saturday morning I received a call from my mother to let me know that my uncle was in Walter Reed after suffering a heart attack. He is in his mid 40s and in the army reserves. He is fit and this is the last thing we would have seen coming.
While he was participating in training during a reserves weekend, he collapsed. Luckily one of his unit members started CPR right away. He was taken to one hospital only to be evaluated and air lifted to Walter Reed. My grandmother and all of her other children were quickly on their way to DC so they could be there for my uncle, his girlfriend and his son. As far as I know he has not been conscious since he collapsed. We are not sure what is going to happen from here on out. They started taking him off of sedation last night, but to my knowledge he is still not awake.
We could really use prayers that he will be okay. Prayers for healing for him and comfort for him and the whole family would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.

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