Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day 3!!!

So here we are on day 3 of Dirty Diaper Laundry blog's "Flats and Handwashing Challenge." Things are going pretty well here. I have decided that everything I use, I want to be something very affordable, so I am using recycled wool, fleece, or inexpensive pul covers. I will post pics of the 5 covers I'm using for each baby hopefully tomorrow!

So, I never did get my plunger, so I have been handwashing 10-14 flats at a time in my bathroom sink. I'm using homemade, super economical laundry detergent, and I'm not doing anything fancy...I'm trying to be practical. If there is no poop, I use my bare hands...let's be realistic...1. urine is sterile, 2. I'm sure as mothers we've touched much worse. lol! So I let the water run through the diapers to rinse them as it warms up, then plug the sink, add the soap, and super hot water and let them soak for about 5 min. Then I add a little cool water, squish them around, scrub out any stains (if there is poop I wear gloves) and pick them up and down in water a few times...then I squeeze the water through each one individually a few times, then I drain the water, fill the sink with cold water, squish them around, and dunk them some more, then squeeze each individually again, them I hand wring each one, and either hang outside to dry, or lay on stuff in my bathroom! lol! I was running low on diapers though, and it's been raining all day, so I came up with the idea of ironing them to finish drying them, and after checking to make sure that wasn't cheating, I am happy to report that it's not, and it worked like a charm! I've done about 4 "loads" of diapers now...with two in diapers, and the fact that I'm using cheapy gerber flats, except for 3 pretty flats I bought for the baby, so I have to use at least 2 on my 18 month old, and I only have 27 diapers, that means we go through them pretty quickly!

Here are a few pictures from Days 1 and 2!!
origami fold with a pad folded flat as a doubler for naptime!

I've been doing the reverse jelly roll along the legs that was mentioned in the vlog on Dirty Diaper Laundry's blog without even knowing it was the same thing that she was doing too! I love the trim fit it gives around my kiddo's thighs! See!

A "load" of flats getting their final rinse!

pre-folded flat angel folded

pretty girl!

kite fold

kite fold again

Origami fold with a gerber can tell these are much smaller and thinner.

This is just triangle folded with a gerber flat as a doubler.

And my cutey boy in his night time flat...three flats together, triangle folded with two flats pad folded as doublers and then I covered it with recycled wool pants...I put a little olive oil on his bum, and used a scrap piece of fleece as a stay dry liner and his butt looked great when he woke up,and he was nice and dry, and his pants were dry to the touch! I couldn't believe it!

I have to say, I am really enjoying these flats, and I think I would like them even more if I had better quality flats. I am excited to have my washing machine back, not because it's that difficult, or that gross, but honestly, because I am super busy and it takes me about 20 min. to wash diapers and 15 to hang them EVERY load, and with the number of diapers i have, I'm doing about 2-3 loads a day...that's a LOT of extra time out of my day when I homeschool and have 4 kids. However, it is still manageable, and I would choose this over disposables still, even if I was working (which I'm not now, but I worked full time until my oldest was 14 months old.) Can't wait to update more tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Flats and Handwashing Challenge

This week I'm doing the "Flat's and Handwashing Challenge" over at Dirty Diaper Laundry blog. So someone decided to come up with a challenge to test out an idea that I've been saying for over a year cloth diapers to needy families that can't afford diapers, or who need to save money on diapers...the problem, apparently a lot of these needy families don't have access to a washer and dryer even, or at least not one that they can wash diapers her solution...give them flats and have them hand wash them...but is that really feasible? That's what we're aiming to find out!

I've pledged to use only flat diapers for 1 week, from May 23rd-May 30th. I can only wash them by handwashing, or using a non-electric washing a camp style washer. You can also only use 5 covers per child, for the whole week. I forgot to buy my plunger, so I'm handwashing in my bathroom sink for right now...luckily my 18 month old hasn't pooped yet! lol! I should be getting my plunger in a few short hours, so we should be good to go then.

Why am I doing this? 1. Anyone who knows me, knows I love a good challenge! 2. I've wanted to try flats for awhile and figured this was just the push I needed! 3. They are super economical so I could up my stash for cheap! 4. I want to raise awareness about cloth diapers. 5. I want to raise awareness about families being in need of diapers. and 6. I wanted to show that maybe there are another option for families in need other than donating disposables, or (yuck!) them rinsing the disposable of solid waste and re-using it. Part of my business is making cloth diapers, but I love to try to help mama's in need to and hope to eventually donate cloth for families in need on a regular basis.

I've taken a few pictures already, but I haven't had a chance to upload them yet, but I plan to post some pictures through out the week of my babies in differently folded flats. As well as update on how it's going.

How it's going on day 2...not bad...I didn't have the time or funds to order nicer, more expensive flats before the challenge, so I bought bleached gerber birdseye flats from my local Meijer, prepped them with the boil method, and have been using those...and they are rather thin, so I am having to change them pretty often. It's fun doing something different. They are surprisingly easy to use, even if you don't fold them a certain way, you can kind of fudge your way through it and still make them work! lol! They wash up very easy and they dry SUPER fast, which is awesome...and I actually prefer line drying them because they dry faster than drying them in the dryer (I did with a dozen that I prepped before the challenge started) but you really need them to be flat when you use them, so I ended up ironing them because they were so wrinkly! lol! I'm even starting to make friends with diaper pins a little! I will say though that it's a little more work since I have to change more frequently and head out to the line multiple times per day to hang, dry, and take down diapers. Well, my 7 week old is fussing so off I go!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Minute Meal Mondays

This is a new series I am going to start, and try to do for the next 4 weeks. The goal is to post a new recipe for a quick, easy, AFFORDABLE, meal, that is not only tasty, but also nutritious, that you can get made up quickly for those Manic Mondays!

Rapid Rotini Casserole

Serves 4-6 depending on serving size. ;)
Ingredients needed
1 14-16 oz. jar of tomato sauce, or the equivalent of your own homemade sauce
1/2 cup sweet potato or carrot puree (or both, or neither...I used a jar of sweet potato baby food!) This is just for added nutrition, you don't taste it at all!
1 lb of whole grain rotini pasta (penne, rigatoni, or mostacolli all would work as well.)
1 lb ground beef, browned (I had this pre-cooked and in a baggie in my freezer.) You could leave this out all together as well, change the amount or sub ground venison, ground turkey, or even pork sausage and it would still turn out well
Any extra veggies you want to add...I didn't add any because we didn't have any on hand that my kids and hubby like...peppers, onions, squash, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, or celery would all be good additions if your family likes them! :)
1 cup of water
1 large bowl filled with very hot water from the tap
spaghetti seasonings of choice...I used garlic powder, dried basil, and dried oregano...fresh would be good too!
4 oz or about 1/2 a bag of shredded mozzerella cheese (more or less to your taste, or can be completely omitted, or you could sprinkle with paremesean.) I used an 8 oz. block and sliced it because my shredded was in the dishwasher, but I would have only used 1/2 if I would have shredded it.
9x12 baking pan...I used glass

Ok, that took a long time to read, I promise it's super fast to make though! Pre-heat your oven to 400. Put your pasta in the bowl of hot water. Mix your meat, seasonings, puree, sauce, any veggies you want to use and 1 cup of water together in the 9x12 baking dish. Now, drain your pasta and add the pasta to the casserole dish as well...don't worry if you don't get quite all the water out. Mix the pasta into the sauce, top with grated cheese, cover with foil and put in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Check to make sure veggies and pasta are tender by poking with a fork. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of the baking time if you want the cheese to brown, allow to cool for approx. 5 min after taking it out of the oven, then serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My First Freebies!

Holy Cow! This must be a new record for me! Two new blog posts in a day! lol! While doing school work today I came up with a few printables for Coby to work on to practice reading skills, so I thought I would share them for free! The first idea is not mine at is just my version of color by number sight words that I saw over at 1+1+1=1 and she got the idea from another blog. I made my own because 1+1+1=1 didn't offer the words I wanted, and I didn't like the font that was used on The Moffat Girls blog.

The second printable I made is just a list of words in caps, and then lowercase letters as well. The idea is that you post the environmental print around your house so your early reader can start recognizing the words for objects they see every day. :)

Sight Words Group 1 Color by Number Flash Cards

Evironmental Print 1

Labeling Our Home "School"


While reading one of my favorite homeschool blogs today, 1+1+1=1, I was reminded of an idea I saw in Coby's preschool classroom that I wanted to implement at home, but had totally forgotten about! Labeling! I have been enjoying reading a lot about learning to read this morning. I am so excited! I will be printing out some sight words, and some color by number sight word cards, although I may make my own. I will try to get some pictures up once I get the labeling done, and report back about what the kids reactions to it are. Please share what activities you are doing to help your child learn to read and to make it fun! I love getting new ideas!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


So, I'm on a site called Ravelry and in one of the groups I'm in there, a friend of mine mentioned that she was going to be joining in on KCWC on one of the blogs she follows! What is KCWC...Kids Clothes Week Challenge! I decided to check it out since I always have visions of grandeur and hopeless illusions of what I plan/want/hope/wish I can get done for my kids as far as clothes go, and well, I usually don't get much of anything I think this would be a perfect way to start my kids spring/summer wardrobe, and maybe finish up the baby's diapers! So the name of the game is, you commit/challenge yourself to sew for your kids, for 1 hour each day, for seven days, and then surprise yourself at the end of the week with how much you were able to get done! :) I can't wait to get started! Now I just need to bust butt to get caught up around here on housework, and sewing so that I am caught up and ready to go on May 9th! :) Will you join in too? Follow the link in the title to go to Elsie Marley's blog and check out all the details!