Monday, May 30, 2011

The Happy Anteater

Okay, just ooooooone more post about the flats and handwashing challenge - I promise this one will be the last. Thank you so much for bearing with us to those of you who like my blog but have little to no interest in diapers. I know it's a niche interest, but it's MY niche.

I'm an outside-the-box thinker. I'm not bragging, it's just a fact. Sometimes it's annoying, to myself and to other people. I'm always coming up with harebrained ideas, good and bad.

My flats and handwashing ala Walmart challenge inspired me to come up with a couple of doozies this week.  If you've been following along with me then you've already seen my no-sew fleece cover design.  But I was also tinkering with the flat itself this week.  I cut some homemade flannel flats, which worked fairly well, but what worked even better was the new fold I invented. 

I call it:  The Happy Anteater

Reflections in a Yellow Puddle

Whew! What a week! I feel pretty spent right now. But in a good way. In an "I just climbed a mountain" sort of way. This week I posted the heck out of this blog, I ROCKED the flat cloth diapers (even invented a new cover and a new flat diaper fold), and I took four kids three hours away from home to a campground all by myself (though my husband did join us later, it was still an accomplishment).

The camping trip was quite a feat all on its own, but coming at the tail end of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge made it seem all the more momentous. 

Speaking of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge, (because perhaps we haven't spoken enough of it this week? lol), the final stats are in and this is how we did...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Flats Challenge Day 7: Your Grandma's Diapers

Our guest blogger today is none other than my own mother, making her blogosphere debut.  Take it away Mom...

Never a dull moment in the Maelstrom. Being the Gramma amidst the swirling, I seem to be repeatedly swept into the vortex of change, the newest being the Flats and Handwashing Challenge.

 Back when my daughter first made the change to cloth diapers, I must admit she needed a chain to drag me along, or should I say just a few guilt ridden lines of encouragement. Before we all became cohabitants, I figured I'd side-step the cloth diapers and get to use disposables when the baby of the moment came to visit, after all, the Other Grandma got disposables sent to Her house. Ah well, the joys of being the maternal grandmother---so much more compliance is expected of you.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Flats Challenge Day 6: Sharing the Love

Since I am on vay-cay right as we speak, enjoy the guest reviews (I know I did!)...

How Are Osocozy Flats? Review and Giveaway
May 25, 2011 by Julie Kieras
When I made the decision to cloth diaper, I thought I’d have to use prefolds. Then I learned about modern cloth diapers and was delighted. The idea of flats (flats? What are flats?) never crossed my mind. I honestly didn’t understand why prefolds were called “PRE-fold” because you still had to FOLD them. So how could they be PRE-folded, right? This is because I was unaware of flats, which really ARE un-folded!

Flats are great, because they are lint free, so in addition to diapering, you can use them for cleaning, burp cloths, dish towels, changing pads, and any numer of uses! Flats are what the rest of the world (that doesn’t have easy access to running water and electricity) is using to diaper their babies, because of the versatility, ease of use, and quick dry time.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Flats Challenge Day 5: TGIF!

Wow, what a journey this has been!  The week isn't over yet, but I feel like I have learned so much already.  Like how to dry flats ASAP and use a t-shirt for a diaper, how to make my own laundry detergent, and how to make a Noso diaper cover.  Also little tips and tricks.  For example, if you give the wings of your flat a twist towards the back before pinning, it tightens the whole thing up a bit.  And you need to get that diaper as tight as you can if you are using pins, because it will loosen a little as soon as the baby starts to move.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Flats Challenge Day 4.5: The Apoocalypse

Yesterday started out like any other normal day in a flats-challenge-mama's world.  All was well until both girls fell asleep at about 1pm in the livingroom.  They NEVER take a nap together.  So of course I got all distracted doing mama things in the peace and quiet and the next thing I know I have to leave RIGHT NOW in order to get to the school on time to pick up the boys.  So I whisk the girls up and into the van, and I don't change the baby.  Usually it's not a huge deal, and I will just change her when we get home (she often naps right up until time to do school pick up) but this time it was disastrous.

Flats Challenge Day 4: Noso Glory

This is a week of bloggy firsts. First time blogging daily for a whole week, first blog challenge, first guest bloggers, and now my first vlog!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Flats Challenge Day 2: Homemade Love

It's Day #2 of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge and I'm definitely feeling the flat love. Only one leak yesterday, but I was really pushing the diapers to the limit so I think that was pretty awesome. I was even able to use one small, thin, Child of Mine flat all by itself with no leaks with a kite fold (though it was SOAKED under the cover). Very impressive.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Flats Challenge Day 1: So It Begins...

My sweet little angle woke up this morning, grinned at me, and then promptly filled her pants  :::sigh:::.  So for my first diaper change of the flats challenge I used a Walmart flour sack towel, origami folded (my favorite fold), pinned, with a Child of Mine cover over it.

My plan of attack for today is to try out all the diapers singly, without any soakers or doubling, and just see how far that gets me.  I expect today may be a little leakier than usual, but I thought for the sake of science, I should give each diaper a fair shake at holding its own. 

My arsenal for this week includes:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's So Campy!

Next on my to-do list is making a manual washer or "camp washer".  When I've taken flat diapers up to the Boundary Waters before, I did my washing by just soaking in a bin and scrubbing by hand.  Worked just dandy but it was a bit hard on my hands.

But the fabulous folks over at have posted a how-to video for a simple camp washer made out of a 5 gallon bucket and a plunger.  Seeing as how I've been so wicked crafty lately, I thought I'd also try being handy.

And since any task is more fun with a friend, a cloth-loving-flat-challenge-buddy came over to help me and also make her own manual washer.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Are You Ready For It?

The rapture that is.  Or the zombie apocalypse.  Depends on who you talk to.  But generally the end of civilization as we know it.

If you're not, the CDC has a great page about how to prepare yourself for the upcoming zombie apocalypse (their world ender of choice).  Since there is talk of apocalyptic happenings coming tomorrow, now might be as good a time as any to make sure you and your family are prepared.  And if the world continues on, it's still tornado and hurricane and flood season so your preparedness won't go to waste.

I like the CDC's page, but as KellyMom points out on her facebook page, they don't say anything about how important breastfeeding will be during the zombie apocalypse.  If you've seen any zombie movies lately then you probably know that zombie-itis is usually pretty catchy and there will be lots of dead and un-dead bodies all over the place so it may be tricky finding clean, un-infected water to mix up formula bottles with.  I think that's an important thing to note.

Also if you've got flat diapers and a manual washer for the Flats and Handwashing Challenge you are also ahead of the game because those are great for camping, FEMA style emergencies, and post-rapture societal meltdown.

1 day, 5 hours, and 30ish minutes until Judgement Day - are you ready?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gluten Free Gold Mine!

photo by Suat Eman
The Gluten Free Diet is something of a mythical creature.  It's the "Autism Diet", the "ADHD Diet", the prescription for those with celiac, and good for weight loss (it's Atkinsesque).  All just by cutting out gluten.

Yet it tends to be the last resort for ADHD, when medication after medication has failed and caused nasty side effects.  Because going gluten free often seems as uncatchable as a unicorn.  It seems like absolutely EVERYTHING has gluten in it.  Bread, yeah sure, but also soy sauce, beef jerky, corn flakes, potato chips, baked beans, ice cream, Twizzlers, beer, chocolate, soup, heck even communion wafers!

What is there left to eat?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Crafty Bitch

Bazinga!  I am ONE CRAFTY BITCH!  Yes, I mean that in a calculating, clever, and foxy way but ALSO like this...

I made those cute baby leggings/pants from an old sweater.

This morning.

Before breakfast.

Unfortunately it doesn't have enough wool in it to be a waterproof diaper cover, but it's still super cute.  I used this pattern and it couldn't have been simpler.  Next time i'll scrounge up a wool sweater so it can be cute AND functional.

Also yesterday I was working on these pennants for a birthday decoration banner for Ivy's party - not quite done, but almost.  Some of them also feature pieces of that same sweater.  You know, I'm not sure who that sweater belongs to.  It's not my sweater.  Hmmmm...  It was in a bag marked with big black marker "GARAGE SALE" though so that's my defense if my mom or sister comes looking for it.

Oh, and also I made that baby in the picture above.  Bazinga.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The View From Here: Keep Your Eye on the Ball

As I stood doing dishes in front of the open window, sunlight streaming in and birds warbling, I heard those All-American words, "Keep your eye on the ball."

Every now and then they take a break from beating each other over the head to be really adorable and kind to each other.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Getting Prepped

Flats and Handwashing Challenge stats so far:

Total $$ Spent: $90.43 with tax
Total Time Spent: 1 hour (shopping)
Total Diapers Changed: 0
Total Leaks: 0

I'm on my way with this challenge thing and it's time to start keeping track of things I think.  How time consuming will it really be to use flats and handwash them?  Will thin little flats be able to contain Ivy's business?  How much money am I spending (no one tell my hubby lol)?  These are things I want to know.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Walmart Shopping Spree

So, as you may or may not know, I am participating in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge over at Dirty Diaper Laundry.  Not just participating, but participating with STYLE.  In addition to using only flats and handwashing the diapers, I am also using only products purchased at Walmart.  Not everyone has access to schnazzy diaper stores or online shopping, but most families have a Walmart they can get to.
Yesterday, to get geared up for the event I went shopping.  I had done some reconnaissance online before I went and was dismayed to see that my local Walmart no longer carried Gerber birdseye flats or plastic training pants covers.  I had resigned myself to flour sack towels and receiving blankets and who knows what for a cover. 

The View From Here

I know what you're thinking, you're wondering, "Is that a photo-shopped hoax picture?  Is that baby still alive?  Is that a doll?  Because there is no way that a baby could be napping in the study and live to tell the tale.  No way that some screaming banshee or flying toy hasn't woken her."

But this is a real, live, photo of Ivy folks.  The secret?  We are alone today.  Ivy and I have the house to ourselves this morning because the boys are getting schooled and Violet is having horseback riding lessons with Gram. 

Thanks free public education (hey, there are SOME benefits), and thanks Gram! 
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