Done, but not over

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Last night at midnight, we ended the Flats and hand washing challenge.

Lets face it, hand washing diapers can get down right dirty. I spent the first few nights washing my flats in a sink with soap by hand. It took me hours! I tried different techniques each night, hoping to speed up the process. Finally I moved on to putting them in a large container, two at a time, and shaking the ever-loving-crap out of them Hah, quite literally! This significantly cut down my wash time. For my last wash, and my biggest load, I used my bath tub and my feet. I didn't time it, but it sure felt faster and easier.
I never used gloves. In hindsight it would have prevented the raw skin on my knuckles from breaking open during a poo-stain scrub down, which would have been great to avoid. Never the less, I didn't use them.
It never failed, anytime I started washing diapers my son would decide he needed me half way through. It didn't matter that I had just nursed him. It didn't matter that he was being entertained by Daddy, or Auntie, or Gramma. He wanted Mommy. I could push it by singing to him and dancing for him while I was washing the diapers, but I was never able to get through an entire load without stopping for him. If I had been alone during this process it would have taken forever. Well, maybe not. He enjoyed watching me wash the diapers in the mirror when I had him strapped on my back in the ergo.

Over all experience
I chose not to research folds. Or washing techniques. I wanted to do this as blindly as possible. I wanted to see if it was plausible to hand someone flats, give them a brief explanation, and expect it to work. It did for the most part. We had a few leaks, and I'm thankful my son is an occasional pooper. Unfortunately, every time he pooped, it got on the cover. Had I researched folds (which I'll be doing this week since I'm taking our flats camping with us next week) I may have been able to prevent this at least some.

Now I know
how flats work.
there are vast amounts of information available in "internet land" for folds and washing techniques.
receiving blankets work really well.
that I can diaper my baby in absolutely any absorbent material, and sit him on fleece until the diapers are done drying.

Its not over. Now I can help
I've mentioned before I'm working on starting a non profit that will bring cloth diaper education, especially to lower income families. Now that I have cloth diapered with the most economical solution, I'm better able to promote, encourage, advocate, and pass along this information. I cannot wait to get this started! My local WIC office was not willing to help, but I plan to contact my local pregnancy centers and birthing classes as soon as I have some materials printed. I cannot wait!

Traveling in flats: Day 7 of the challenge

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I'm actually writing this post from my phone on the Blogger app so I'm not really sure how any html coding I post will work.

We are traveling up state to visit the s2b in laws. I've brought all 12 flats and 2 of our covers. We've just started our journey but I'm already nervous because I forgot the wet bag. Oh well I'm sure we can get a ziploc.

Any how, here is a picture of turtle-love passed out :-)

Hand washing with ease! Day 5 of Flats Challenge

Friday, May 27, 2011
First, check out the rules and regs for the Flats and Hand Washing challenge over at Dirty Diaper Laundry

I've done it!


I've hand washed our diapers, in less than an hour without scrubbing my finger skin off or using too much elbow grease! I've even done it without a bucket and plunger, or a bathtub!



With a tupperware container!

So.... I rinsed all of my diapers out to get release some of the ammonia and I scrubbed off the excess poo. I filled my sink with hot/warm soapy water and let the diapers sit there soaking over night. In all reality, they sat there from 2am til 8pm. Then I wrung them and rinsed them and set them to the side.

I got out a very large tupperware bowl with a lid. We happen to call this the "bulgogi bowl" in my family because its what we use to make bulgogi in. My mom's mom is Korean, bulgogi is a Korean dish, thinly sliced deliciously marinated beef that we grill to perfection. Mmmmmmm. Man I'm hungry now. Moving along...
I got the bowl out, added some laundry soap and shot it with hot/warm water til about half full.

I washed the covers first because they take longer to dry. I put the two weren't using right then into the bowl and closed the lid. I probably could have washed 3. Once I sealed the lid, I shook the bowl with might and furry!! Haha, really, I shook the ever-loving-day-lights out of this bowl for 5 minutes.
After the 5 minutes of shaking the bowl from different directions, I removed the lid, wrung out the covers, and set them in the sink which I had filled 1/4 of the way with cool clean soap free water.

I placed 2 flats into the bowl. I shook the ever-loving-day-lights out of the bowl for 5 minutes. This was starting to be a work out! Not the I want to rip my arms off work out I was getting from the hand scrubbing I was doing previously. Nope, this was more entire upper body and cardio! Wooo! I could even isolate muscle groups by shaking the bowl differently =)
Once the 5 minutes was up, I wrung out the flats and placed them in the clean water. Got 2 more flats... you get the idea.

I should mention, after the 5 minutes of shaking, before I wrung out the flats I would inspect them for stains. I only found 1 diaper with poo spots and was able to easily remove them with a very small amount of hand scrubbing.

Once all the diapers were shaken clean, I rinsed them through twice to get rid of the soap, including a quick swish bath in standing water between rinses. Then I wrung them out and hung them on my drying rack. Done! I think I washed 10 flats and 2 covers and it took me just under an hour total. I could cut this time down if I could come up with a better way to rinse. Hmmm....

As I've mentioned before, we have 12 flats. So, saying that I washed 10 meant we only had 2 flats left. Uh-oh. No worries though, we ended up using receiving blankets which I found are possibly more absorbent, though a tad more bulky. My little sister actually came to town and was watching Turtle-Love while I washed diapers. She had to change him, with a receiving blanket, and rather than have me show her the "easy way" she wanted to try wrapping him in one on her own. Ha! she felt so bad about the way it turned out on him, she let him play naked on top of a fleece blanket with her. She figured, if she was going to get wet because she didn't wrap it right anyways, she might as well let him be naked since that is what he wanted. =) He didn't pee on her, but he did sit up by himself for 3 whole minutes!

Unfortunately, I have no pictures to share today. I will get pictures tonight tho, and hopefully a ridiculous video of me shaking the dang bowl =/ Its for a good cause right?

Big thanks to Diaper Junction for supplying my flats!
Also, thanks very much to Simple Little Baby for suppling us with 2 snappis!

Link up everyone! Check out how other bloggers embrace the challenge!

Flats day 4

Thursday, May 26, 2011
First of all - check out the rules and regs for the Flats and Hand washing challenge over at Dirty Diaper Laundry

A big thanks to Diaper Junction for providing my flats, and to Simple Little Baby for providing 2 snappis!

Turtle-Love actually developed his first diaper rash ever the other night. It was my own fault. I hadn't realized he pooped (thought it was gas) and it stayed on just a little too long. Poor baby, I felt just awful. I've been putting some cloth safe diaper salve on him and he spent the evening in just a flat with no cover. That is, until I put it on too loose and Turtle-Love was in my lap and the pee ran out the leg onto me =/ Oh well. It isn't the first time and certainly wont be the last.

Yesterday we went through a bunch of flats, and 2 of our 3 covers because of poop. Today we are limited to our 1 cover, because I didn't get the other two washed. I didn't get the flats washed either so we are limited. I imagine this means we will be diapering alternatively tonight - using t-shirts and towels. I'm not sure what we will do about a cover. I think I'll just be sure to put a fleece blanket under him or a rain coat and we will stay home.

I've lost creativity for folds. I did try something different last night that worked really well. I folded the flat into the smallest triangle I could fit around Turtle-Love. Then pulled the center corner up, and the side corners across and down over the wet zone and fastened with a snappi. I just can't think of other ways to fold. Part of me wants to look some up, but the other part of me - the stubborn side - wants to rough this out. I know nothing about flats. I should keep it that way.

I've read some mom's are writing how they are biased in this challenge because they know they can go back to their washing machine. I like to think I'm not biased - we have a washing machine that I absolutely can go back to; but I know that hand washing is a reality s2bDH and I may face when we move out. I know that financially our times are hard, and they will get harder for a while. Hand washing is a close reality for us, and I'm glad to have the practice. I'm glad to be part of this challenge.

Speaking of hand washing, I mentioned I didn't do the washing last night. Nope, not at all. I rinsed out the flats and covers and left them to soak in warm soapy water in my kitchen sink while we watched a movie. However, by the time the movie was over it was late and Turtle-Love was cranky so we went to bed, I figured I could wash them in the morning. I didn't though. We got up late and I was too busy enjoying cuddling with Turtle-Love before leaving him for work. I'll have to wash them all this evening. As I mentioned before, I think we will have to collect some absorbent bits from around the house to cover him in for the evening while I do the washing. I'm certain ti will take me forever if I do them in the sink. I considering the tub. I can put them in and agitate them where they have more space to hang out in the water maybe? Or maybe I'll use a big tupperware container and load them individually and shake the bah-jee-bees out of them. Actually that is a plan. I'm going for the tupperware tambourine wash method tonight =D I'll post pics and video tomorrow!

Falts day 3: Why would cloth mommas diet?!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Today is day 3 of the Flats and hand washing Challenge! Check out Dirty Diaper Laundry for the Rules and such.

Also - a big thanks to Diaper Junction for supplying my flats free of charge! Another thanks to Simple Little Baby for providing us with 2 snappis at no cost! ♥

To explain the blog title... last night I washed flats for the 2nd time. By hand of course, in our sink. This time I switched to the kitchen sink thinking I'd have more room. Let me tell you, I don't know why any cloth diapering moms (or dads) ever diet or go to the gym. Hand washing your diapers is a HUGE work out! Then again I'm way out of shape, with zero upper arm strength. Seriously, my arms were really sore from the last good scrub session; add last night's wash to that and I was feeling the burn.

So yesterday the s2bDH failed the challenge. He used flats for 2 of 3 diaper changes. He said he couldn't find the rest of the flats - which btw were in a stack under our changing table right next to the first stack that he finished off. In the first two changes while I was at work he put Turtle-Love in the flats he was able to locate, using "the prefold" and a snappi. However the next change he put him into a disposable. UUUUHHHHHHHHHH. He found our regular cloth diapers, which I put away out of sight, while trying to find the rest of the flats and opted not to use one. =/ He meant well - his thinking was that it wouldn't get washed until next week because we wouldn't have a full load of diapers to put in the machine. Honestly, I'd have hand washed it - but I'm kinda thankful I don't have to. I was pretty upset though that he didn't just call me or text me and ask where the rest of the flats were. As soon as we got home I switch Turtle-Love into a flat.

I tried a new folding technique. I made the double triangle, laid Turtle-Love on top, pulled the center corner up to his waist, over the wet zone, pulled the left corner across his left thigh over the wet zone and under his right thigh and tucked it, then the right corner across the right thigh over the wet zone and under the left thigh and tucked it. It made an X across the wet zone for a little more coverage. It worked really well actually. Of course, I'm calling it "the X".

Today I showed s2bDH where the flats and snappis and covers were. I even provided him a t-shirt of mine to use if he runs out! His words to me: Isn't that kinda big? My response It should soak up lots of pee. He laughed at me and shook his head, but agreed.

I'm thinking tonight I'll try something different for washing. I'm also considering a soapy wet pail for the dirties instead of a dry pail, so they get a soak. Last night after their first scrubbing, I made more soapy water and left them to soak while I watched 16 and Pregnant on DVR and nursed Turtle-Love. I know, lol, I'm awful. The soak seemed to help though, they were much easier to wash for the second washing than last time.

Let us see what the day holds!

BTW here is a video (sound less) of me washing flats for the first wash so you can see my scrub method. Please excuse the crappy quality from my "HD camcorder" on my droid. And my s2bDH lack of attention to where he is pointing the camera *sigh*

Flats official Day 2

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
So, here we are. Today is officially day 2 of the Flats and Hand washing challenge, and of course my 3rd day using flats. I finally have the pictures from our first hand wash!
The dirties

After the first wash

Trying to rinse out all that extra soap!

Lets try to agitate the soap out...

Finally soap free!

Hang to dry =)

So that was my wash experience.
My awesome flats (Thanks Diaper Junction!) were dry by morning, though my covers took a while longer. I think it was because of the way I organized them. Tonight, I'll try something else =)

Today my s2bDH is home with Turtle-Love. He has been instructed to only use flats! I showed him how to do "the prefold" and told him if he was brave enough to try anything else to take pictures, hah!

Flats a day early.. oops! Pic heavy =)

Monday, May 23, 2011
NOTE: I've been waiting all day for my phone to finish emailing me the pictures I took of the wash process but it hasn't happened. *sigh* I wanted to be sure to post today, so I'll try to post the wash pictures tomorrow if it finally comes through.

DOUBLE NOTE: Thank you to Diaper Junction for supplying my flats!

I jumped the gun, and yesterday used flats for the very first time. I thought the challenge started yesterday. I'm not sure why, but I did. *sigh* Oh well, it was certainly an adventure!

What is the challenge? The Flats and Hand washing challenge! Go check out Dirty Diaper Laundry for all the details, but basically I agreed to use only flats and covers, and to only hand wash them, for a full week err, I guess I'll be doing 8 days. Haha, oops.

I decided to challenge my self further, and not learn any of the folding techniques, or washing styles. I wanted to "wing it" and get some raw experience that I could pass along. Yeah. Great plan. I'm so glad my child is patient with me (most of the time) =)

The flats & folds
Turtle-Love actually slept until about 2 pm yesterday! He woke up to feed twice but that was it! Even at 2 pm I finally woke him up to nurse him and change his diaper that weighed a good pound! No, I'm not exaggerating! I very well may have a super soaker! Anyhow, I put his first flat on him at 2. While he was sleeping I took my time and folded it into a plan I thought would work pretty well.

I folded the flat into a triangle, then in half to a smaller triangle. Pointed it down, and turned up the side corners to make it look like the picture.

Insert baby on the triangle, pulled up the center, pulled one side directly across, and then the other.
Then I tucked the tail into the waist area, and put the cover on. Viola! I call this "the bull". Diapered baby =)

This worked well enough, I mean it didn't leak, but at the same time I didn't feel like his wet zone was adequately covered. I needed to do better.

This time, my anti cloth sister thought she could do a better job. I let her try. What she came up with was an okay idea, but it wasn't fitting just right so I modified it into what I'm calling "the knot".
Pretty much, fold into a double triangle, then fold down to create a band on top. Insert baby, fold up the center, pull the right corner across the waist, then the left corn across the thigh, down over the wet zone, and up the back (it makes a tail).

Pull the right corner that is now on the left side back across the waist and tuck into the band. Flip the baby over and tuck the tail.

Cover, voila!

It leaked but only slightly. Maybe the fold was wrong, maybe the cover wasn't on right, or maybe Turtle-Love flooded the diaper or it was on for too long. I'm not sure.

Next we did a really easy fold, one that I showed my s2bDH so that he can use it this week.
We folded the flat into a square.

Insert the baby, then fold the front together so it makes three layers (really 3x4 layers) and a pocket. Pull the front up over the wet zone and fasten to the wings on the back with a snappi - I call this "the prefold". Of course, use a cover, and done!

This one was really successful with good wet zone coverage.

The wash
Ohhhh boy. Do NOT use too much soap!! That was my lesson for the night. =/
I used 1 scoop of Tiny Bubbles in 64 oz (2 quarts) of water in my plugged sink. I washed all the pee diapers first, saving the messiest for last.
The wash process:
Dunk. Scrub it together with itself. Dunk. Repeat til super soapy. Squeeze out excess. Move on to next diaper. Repeat.
After all the pee diapers were washed I tackled the poo diaper by first scrubbing it without soap in the toilet to get rid of the excess mess. Then I applied the same wash process, making sure to continue repeating until all the stain areas were gone.
Then I let out the soapy water and poured on 64 more ounces into my plugged sink. I scrubbed each diaper again in the plain water to get most of the soap out of each one. It wasn't working very well. I decided to use a little running water.
The rinse process:
Rinse the diaper under running water 2 times. Plug sink and dunk and scrub. Drain sink and use pitcher 1/2 full with water and my arm to make a mini washing machine and agitate the soap out. Repeat mini machine with new water. Plug sink and dunk and swirl to be sure all soap is gone. Squeeze water out and hang on towel rack.
Attack other diapers for rinse process.
When I had 2 left to rinse Turtle-Love was fussy (my mom had him) so he hung out on my back in the Ergo for the first time. I danced and sang my way to his happiness while rinsing the diapers.
The drying process:
I then neatly draped each flat and cover on my drying rack. Unfortunately, I forgot to check them this morning to see if they were dry before I left for work.

Have I mentioned today is my first day back in the office?! More on that later.

Over night
Oh yes, we were brave. We used the flat over night in the "prefold" fold. With success!!! My son usually doesn't pee much throughout the night, but in the morning during his first feed he likes to flood whatever diaper he is wearing. We had zero leaks =) Hooray!

When I signed up for the Flats and Hand washing challenge, I did not think I would be back in my office at the time of the challenge. However, recent events have lead to my working in the office starting this week. For the past 5 months I have been working from home. My s2bDH promised to use only flats while I'm at work, since he will be home with him this week. When I get home, we will see how HE did =)

Baby, work, wedding...

Thursday, May 19, 2011
Just a few topics I wanted to write about briefly while Turtle-Love naps...

Nursing to sleep. Does anyone else pretty much HAVE to nurse their child to sleep?? Turtle-Love refuses to sleep for me without the boobie. He was refusing to sleep without me holding him, but we are working on that and doing pretty well. I'm thinking that was just a phase. However, nursing to sleep does NOT seem to be a phase. It doesn't matter how tired he is - he will NOT go to sleep with out the boobie. Unless I'm not home. Not just in the other room, but actually gone. Then apparently he will go to sleep. And SOMETIMES in his car seat, if he is stuffed to the gills.

TV time What is your policy on TV time for your infant? Sure, Turtle-Love has inadvertantly watched some NCIS with me, but today I actually decided to put him in his bouncey seat with a Baby Einstein video. He is about 24 weeks old. Bad? Okay? Good? Who knows. I guess as far as TV goes, Baby Einstein is definitely the lesser of the evils. He was a good distance away from the screen. The video was Meet the Orchestra and he really seemed to enjoy it - complimented by grunts and babble =)

Starting solids Attention preemie moms but of course I would love feedback from everyone. What is your view on solids? Did you do purees? How old was your baby when you started? Preemie moms: did you wait til your child reached the appropriate adjusted age, or actual age? I'm having a bit of an internal battle with this. Turtle-Love will be 6 months in 2 weeks. He is sitting supported and has some moments of balancing upright on his own. He salivates at the table when we eat and stares hardcore at food. We have been letting him hold breads for a couple weeks but he wasn't interested in putting them in his mouth. I've spoon feed him formula supplements a couple times to see how he does with the spoon, btw he loves it and grunts and whines if I'm not fast enough. The past three times we have handed him a bread item (a biscuit, a pizza crust, a cracker) he has put them in has mouth - I made it a game and took it from him before he could ingest anything. The last thing we gave him was a cracker 2 days ago - he slobbered on it and broke a piece off. I was terrified at first, and then watched him chew it! I made it a game again, and fished it out lol. He thought it was funny. Originally, I wanted to wait until his 6 month appointment to see what the doctor said about starting him on solids - mainly because he is a preemie and I worry about his digestive system being ready. He has given me tons of signs he is ready though. I'm just not sure. I know I'd like to make my own baby food when we get to that point.

Working & babysitters I've been working from home since January. I had asked my company to let me work from home for at least 6 months, and that mark is coming up. In addition to that, one of our employees turned in her 2 week notice. So my boss has asked that I come back to the office. s2bDH has an off the wall schedule that revolves around events at the university for his "day job" and events at local music scenes for his security job. We can't count on his paycheck or his hours more than a week at a time because we never know what the schedule will be for either job. He is about ti hit a slow point in his day job, and my sister will be up for about 2 weeks so they will be home with Turtle-Love through mid June at the least. I'm now having to decide is paying for a daycare or a sitter, which is about half my take home based on the prices I've seen, is worth my job. Obviously we need the money, but if I'm putting out everything I take in AND losing time with my son, I'm just having a hard time accepting it. If we go with a daycare, or can't find a sitter that will use cloth diapers and handle breast milk (assuming I can keep my supply up) we will also have the added costs of disposable diapers and formula. I love my job, honestly I do, but this is difficult. I don't even know where to begin on choosing a place/person to care for my son.

Wedding We are less than 5 months from our wedding! Yikes! We are certainly pinching pennies right now to make sure we can save enough to cover all of our costs, but this added expense for day care is going to injure our bottom line for the wedding. I've already signed some deposits and contracts and such so we are in it regardless, its just a matter of coming up with it all, as we are hosting our wedding.

How I'm preparing for the Flats Challenge

Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Wooo! A two post day! I'm on a roll! HAH!

So... how AM I preparing for the Flats Challenge? First - lets review exactly what is expected of me! Starting May 23rd and lasting the whole week I will be diapering with ONLY flat diapers (except at night should I choose to detour) and ONLY hand wash them and ONLY air dry them and have no more than 6 covers in rotation. See here for complete list of official rules and such.

What I'm using
Since I was stalking the Dirty Diaper Laundry blog after I learned of the challenge (hah!) I received a wonderful opportunity, and received 12 Diaper Rite flats from Diaper Junction free of cost. Thanks guys!!! I also received 2 snappis for free from Simple Little Baby after talking to Melanie at my weekly AP parent/cloth diaper meet up at Sugar Snap Consignment and getting her on board with the challenge too. Woo hoo for spreading the word! I also scored a snappi in my lute bag at the Great Cloth Diaper Change for a total of 3 snappis =) Most awesome! I also bought a pre-loved Thirsties cover (velcro) and 2 new Thirsties duo wraps (snaps) from Sugar Snap that I'll be using for a total of 3 covers. If I run out of flats for some reason I'll be using shirts, towels, etc.

I'll be washing the diapers in one of our sinks (we have a double sink in our master bath - one we don't really use) most likely with dawn, and hanging them to dry on our drying rack that I use for our diapers anyways. I'm hoping to sneak them outside in the morning for a few, but my neighbors suck.

Getting ready
I've decided not to read or watch or research folding or washing the flats in any way. I want to walk into this challenge without any information and see if I can get myself through it ... creatively. Hah. Really, I'm doing this because I wouldn't expect anyone without the resources to purchase diapers to have the resources to research how to use flats. I'm not saying they wouldn't, I'm saying I wouldn't expect them to. I've also never really hand washed anything, so this should be very interesting. I plan to wash the flats in my machine with the rest of Turtle-Love's laundry, and put them through the drier as well for the first wash (before the challenge starts). I'm justifying this because while maybe you wouldn't tote dirty diapers to the laundry mat, I see no reason not to take clean ones there. I'm going to put away all my "fun" diapers and the disposables we keep on hand the day before. Come midnight May 23rd, I'll be switching Turtle-Love into a flat and cover, and we are headed to bed.

I'm hoping we'll have gotten a video camera by then (we are buying one together as an anniversary present - our anniversary was the 11th) and I'll be able to video my first time folding the flat, and getting it on Turtle-Love =D

Reality vs the challenge
Realistically, my fiance and I live with my mother. It is just easier on us and her to share the load and keep company. I grew up very close to my mom's parents and I plan to raise Turtle-Love close to my mom, so living with her is great. Also, it gives me a break as a mom. I get a chance to go pee when someone is home! So, living with two someones gives me more opportunities and less painful bladder and kidneys XD Realistically, we could do it on our own. Things would be REALLY tight. They are tight as they are. We don't live here for free you know - we share the bills. So, realistically, we live on a tight budget and being flat broke and barely able to afford diapers at all isn't far from reality some times. These are the times I'm thankful I made room in my budget for cloth diapers, and bought them one at a time.

Realistically, after our wedding and after our lease here with my mom is up, we have plans to purchase (or rent, gotta see how it goes) our own house and "go green" as much as we can. This means we will actually have a clothes line when we move. I grew up with clothes dried on a line in our laundry room. I'm looking forward to getting away from my drier and saving the cost on energy and such. We live in a condo now, with a mean homeowners association and neighbors that complain when I put my diaper pail outside to dry after I wash it =/ *sigh* I can't wait to move.

Some how, I think I got off topic. The point, and the plan, is - I'm gonna wing it =)

better late than never... Why I'm doing the Flats Challenge

I've been away from my blog for a bit, trying to finish the semester and generally being busy with life. I promise to do better and actually blog.

Why am I doing the flats challenge?

Since the moment during my pregnancy that I stumbled upon cloth diapers my brain has been churning. I immediately began spreading the word about cloth to my friends, my family, my co-workers, my online diary community.... I crunched numbers, compared brands and types of cloth diapers and disposables. I researched the materials used in cloth vs the materials used in disposables. I was hooked, and I converted my fiance effortlessly.

Skip forward. My son was born, 5 weeks premature. We had boxes of disposables from our baby shower - no one cared that I wanted to use cloth - and no cloth diapers. At the time, I couldn't find any that were small enough for him. I waited patiently and used disposables while he grew. Finally, he reached 7 pounds. Finally, I purchased a few different types and brands of cloth diapers, and I've been building my stash - slowly but surely - ever since.

As any cloth diapering blogging momma knows, giveaways are great opportunities to build your stash! Not only that, but great opportunities to find other like minded mommas and companies that offer all the products you love, and some you never knew you needed! After liking all these great pages on my Facebook, an article appeared. We all know the one, talking about the women in New York who were reusing disposables because they couldn't afford to purchase diapers. This immediately sent me on a journey. I want to start a non profit to bring cloth diapering education to low-income families. I was also struck with something my mom has always told me, "When it comes to your babies, you do everything you can. If you run out of wipes, use the sink and a rag. A towel soaks up pee just as good as a diaper." Those aren't her exact words but pretty similar. Ironic actually, because my mom really dislikes that we use cloth diapers. Any how, I wanted to use everything I have around the house that is not actually a cloth diaper, and write about it hear on my blog. But before I had the chance, I came across Kim's entry on Dirty Diaper Laundry - The Flats Challenge. A challenge to diaper with only flats (except at night) and hand wash them all for a week (the last week of May). I was sold. Even better - since I have no flat diapers - I was actually provided flat diapers through her via Diaper Junction!

In summary I'm doing the flats challenge because I want to show it can be done. I want to be able to tell the moms I talk to once I get this non profit going that you can diaper on NO budget if you have to. As part of my flats challenge, I'm only using 12 flats, 3 covers, and clothes and towels. Not diapers, not wipes, not wipes solution. Old fashioned water and rags to clean baby's bum. And if I run out of flats, I'll be using clothes and towels.

I'm pretty much known for making things harder than they have to be - but this is the best cause I've had to be hard headed =)

It's been a while

Monday, May 16, 2011
I know it has been a long time since my last update. Life has just been crazy. When is it not? Anyhow - this is an updated to-do-list for the wedding, which btw is in 5 months (from yesterday) O.o Where has the time gone?!

Ceremony site Booked!
Reception site Booked!
Officiant Yeah... we are still trying to pick one =/ I'm making this my goal for the night.
Wedding Dress Picked out, paid for, and at my dad's. Need to make an appointment for alterations and lose some dang weight!
Tux/Suit We know what we want, and its down to 2 places to get it. We haven't decided if we will rent tuxes, or buy suits.
Bridesmaids' dresses Just need one more girl to order her dress =)
Groomsmen's tuxes/suits See above @Tux/suit
Flower girls' dresses Need to take Tony's cousin to order hers. Prob pay for it too =/ Oh well. My sister just ordered my niece's dress =)
Ring bearer's tux/suit Not making any decisions about this until we decide on the men's. I have a lady on Etsy that makes adorable vest &tie combos for little boys and fedoras too lol (Wise guy clothing)
Photographer Met with him Saturday and he is pretty cool =) Just have to sign the contract and send the deposit
Save the Dates We designed them - then realized they needed to be sent last month. Oops. Guess we will skip the save the dates. =/
Invitations Working on finishing up the wording and design. Hope to get them ordered in the next few days so I have time to get them here and addressed before they go out in 2 months.
RSVP Cards Ditto - but they will be post cards =)
Flower girls' basket Yeah - I kinda wanna make my own... idk.
Ring bearer's pillow/block I have some ideas but nothing concrete. Again, I kinda wanna make my own...
Also need to get a wagon to pull Cooper in...
DJ Haven't even looked for one yet... kinda need to do that soon
Food Just have to finalize the menu by mid-August
Cake Well, we need to get on this. We don't know what we want... but we've picked out our topper! Still have to bu it tho...
FloristNeed to get on the ball...
Programs Not yet
Place cards I know what I want to do and its related to the centerpieces
Centerpieces Gotta find and order what I want, and decide how to dress it up
Favors I know what I'm doing - just bargain shopping to find the pieces as cheap as I can
Decorations I'm sooo lost on this. We are doing a wish tree instead of a guest book (which I still need to buy) so I know this will be part of the decorations. But that's all I've got =/

*sigh* wish I could afford a wedding planner