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Flats & Handwashing Challenge {Day 1}

I’m taking the Flats & Handwashing Challenge this week.  



Why am I taking the challenge?


1.  I plan on using prefolds and covers on the newborn baby arriving in July so this will be a good chance to practice my folding skills.  I used some Gerber prefolds and rubber pants on Miss Raegan when she was a newborn and I wasn’t impressed.  We used them to fill in while I built our stash of pockets.  Pockets seemed much easier and microfiber inserts were more absorbent than the prefolds I had.  I loved the jellyroll fold and couldn’t really get any other folds to work for me.  I’m excited to try out some new ones.


2.  I’ve never used flats.  I hear flats are great.  I don’t know why flats are so great, so I’m looking forward to finding out for myself.  I made the switch from microfiber inserts to cotton & bamboo prefolds with hemp inserts and I like the results so far.  Currently, my routine is to hang my covers (pockets) on the clothesline and dry my inserts and prefolds in the dryer, because otherwise they take forever to dry!   I hear flats wash really well and dry much more quickly than prefolds and inserts.  Bamboo prefolds are my favorite, but maybe that will change after this week!  


3.  I want to learn to handwash.  I want to spend more time camping.  With Landon in Cub Scouts and my husband an Eagle Scout, our family jumps at the chance to go outside.  In the past I’ve used disposables while camping to avoid extra laundry.  But, since Raegan’s battle with diaper rash last fall, I’ve avoided disposables as much as I can… including traveling less to avoid laundry issues.  With two in diapers this summer, it would be nice to have the handwashing experience if we decide we want to get away for a weekend.  Maybe I will fall in love with handwashing and decide to handwash all the time to save on electricity!  Maybe not.  But I hope it will be a good learning experience.


4.  I love a good challenge.  Especially one with blog prompts.  I like writing.  I like trying new things.  I’m bored, because I’m stuck here on the couch most of the time waiting for my leg to heal.  This challenge is giving me something else to think about — instead of sitting here thinking about all the cleaning jobs that I can’t do with crutches.  I never thought I would want, so desperately, to vacuum the floor, or wash the windows, or finish painting the trim!  That is, until I sat here in the living room for six weeks staring at all of the things that need done.


Stay tuned for other posts about the challenge:

Day 3:  Open Topic

Day 6:  Open Topic

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Flats & Handwashing Challenge

I recently switched to using more prefolds with covers to cut down on laundry (usually you can reuse the cover) while I’m out-of-commission with my broken leg.  It’s been great!  I was typically washing every 2-3 days and washing between 12-20 pocket diapers at a time.  But, since I switched, between Saturday morning and Monday night I only had 10 diaper shells in the wash!  If I would stop using pockets completely it would have been even less.  I’m even more excited at the prospect of less laundry because of our newest addition arriving in July!  I had already planned to use prefolds and covers on the baby, but cutting down Raegan’s diaper laundry is an added bonus!

And, because I’ve been spending a lot of time on the couch and I will hopefully be feeling quite a bit better in a few weeks, I signed up for the Flats & Handwashing Challenge this year.

Flats:  I’ve never used flats, so I need to get some!  I think I’m going to grab a few flour sack towels at Target and just see how I like those.  They also have them at Sam’s Club but I heard they are huge!  Like these ones…

I also read how to fold an old t-shirt to use as a flat, which I might try because I have a lot of old t-shirts laying around.  Maybe we can get Daddy to clean out his t-shirt drawer, too!

Covers:  I’m going to use my Softbums shells, just so I can reuse them and not wash as many shells every day!  The Echo shells are just like a regular cover and the Omni shells can also be used as a pocket.  I have a few of both!


I have a package of Dappi covers that I have never opened from when Raegan was a newborn and I have some Size 1 Thirsties Duo Wraps that I’m sure would fit my skinny toddler so I will use those as back-ups if I have to.  I could also stuff her pocket diapers with flats but I’m not sure how absorbent that would be.

Washing:  I haven’t quite figured this part out yet.  I think I am just going to use the trash can that I use as a diaper pail and the plunger we already have, instead of making a “camp washer”.



I should do a test run, but I’m having surgery next week and I don’t think it will be high on my priority list until later in the month.

Drying:  I love my clothesline.  On rainy days, I hang diapers on pants hangers on my shower rail.  I would love a pulley clothesline like this one.  But, I don’t think there is a chance I’ll get one installed before the challenge.


So, I’m excited to try out something new!  And, hopefully I’ll get really good at handwashing and we can do a lot of camping without worrying about laundry!! 🙂 I’ll post about the challenge while it’s going on and you can sign up here if you’d like to participate with me!

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Help, I’ve Fallen…

and I can’t get up!!

I fell down the steps.

To me, that sounds so much more dramatic than what really happened.  I couldn’t find the skirt I wanted to wear, so I took a basket of laundry upstairs where I could empty it, sort it, and make sure my skirt wasn’t in there.  Then, I thought, I might as well fill this basket with the dirty clothes so I can start another load.

I was being productive.

I even counted the steps on the way down.  I knew there were fourteen.  I knew I couldn’t see over both the clothes basket and my growing belly.  So at step number 12, I stopped and peeked under the basket to make sure there were no hoodlums lingering at the bottom of the steps.

Two more to go.

Next thing I knew, I was sitting on the bottom step.  One leg under me and one leg in front of me.

I’ve fallen before.  Many times.  I just get up.  I’m usually mumbling that my husband doesn’t always need to frantically ask me “Are you okay?!” over every bump and bruise.

I know why he does it now.

Oh, how I love that man.

“Are you okay?”

“I broke my ankle.”

“Are you sure it’s not sprained?”

“Yes!  Call someone, please!”

He called my mom to watch the kids and pulled our new-to-us minivan around to the front door.  He carried me out to the van and drove as quickly and as slowly as he could — being careful not to hit too many bumps while getting to the hospital as quickly as possible.  He drove in circles around the parking lot until he had aligned my door perfectly with the hospital entrance.

I got to ride in a wheelchair.  It wasn’t as exciting as it had always seemed.

I was crying hysterically but there were no tears.  It was a strange feeling.  I was so upset, so in pain, and I kept thinking, Why aren’t I crying?  I feel like I’m crying… 


They checked the baby before they checked my leg.  In my pain-filled haze, I remembered — Don’t tell my husband the gender of the baby! Priorities, people.  Baby was 25 weeks and perfectly fine.

Then I what I thought were the most painful x-rays I would have.  I was wrong, because I had to get more later that day.  The doctor came in and just shook his head.  “You’re going to need surgery and I don’t know how they are going to do it while you’re pregnant.”

No.  I am not having surgery.

We followed-up with an orthopedic doctor who said I might not need surgery.

That’s more like it.

I think I scared the poor nurse when I shouted “Purple!” so quickly after she asked me what color cast I wanted.  There are just some things you always wish for as a kid.  Broken bones may not be one of them, but a cool cast?  Every kid wants one of those…

I never realized how painful a broken bone is.  I actually have three broken bones.  But still.  It hurts more than I imagined.

And I just feel so helpless.  I have amazing friends and family who have bent-over-backwards to help me.  But, I’m helpless.  I’m helpless because I’m proud.  I want to do it myself.

Just like my toddler.  No.  Don’t help me get dressed.  I would rather take three times as long struggling on my own than admit that you can do it faster.

I’ll accept help.  I just don’t want to ask.  I desperately want to be able to do it by myself.  And, asking you… that hurts twice as much as struggling on my own.

But, I’m learning.  I’m learning to be resourceful.  I’m learning to be humble.  I’m learning to ask for help when I need it.  I’m learning to be still.  I’m learning to focus less on the stuff and the tasks and more on the people in my life.

And, I’m not even half way through my first “phase” of healing…

I’m scheduling that dreaded surgery because my bones are not healing correctly after three weeks in a cast.   Then I’ll be in another cast for six more weeks.  I’m now 28 weeks pregnant… so hopefully I will at least be able to walk when I go into labor!  But, if not, I’m sure I’ll learn something from that, too.

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My 90-Day Weight Loss Challenge

I see a lot of “weight loss transformations” on Pinterest and other websites that show women “losing weight” after pregnacy.  Losing pregnancy weight is completely different from losing weight that is not a result of pregnancy.  A woman’s body is designed to grow a child.  She gains weight to support that process.  Then, her body knows that the process is over, so she loses the weight.  Yes, it’s possible for the weight to linger… but it’s designed to be lost.

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I lost all of my baby weight from my pregnancy within 15 days of giving birth.  Woo-hoo.  Thanks breastfeeding!  Sort of.

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I was still really overweight.  I think most of it was in my arms, lol.   I had tried losing weight before I got pregnant, but I knew I would be breastfeeding so I thought I could wait and lose weight afterwards.  Then, because I had developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy, there was a pretty big chance that I would develop Type 2 Diabetes within the next few years… unless I lost weight.

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I joined the Body by Vi 90-Day Challenge in November — but I didn’t drink two shakes a day because I was still breastfeeding exclusively and I couldn’t cut calories like that.  I loved the shakes and I felt so much better when I drank them.  Comparing my “reports” on My Fitness Pal, I eat a much more balanced diet when I drink a shake.

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I celebrated my 25th birthday in February.  That was probably the first time I saw myself (not pregnant) in pictures for years.  I was disgusted with myself.  I was leaning too hard on the excuse, “I just had a baby.”  I had lost that weight… this was weight I had from the beginning.

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In March, Raegan was nursing 4-5 times per day and I was not losing any weight.  I also got a new phone… one with APPS 🙂 finally….  I downloaded the My Fitness Pal app and started tracking my calories.  I also downloaded the Couch to 5k program on the RunDouble app, which I absolutely love.  I started drinking Body by Vi shakes twice a day.

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Initially, I lost most of the weight from my neck and face.  I also felt amazing.  I ate cleaner (and a lot more fruits and vegetables).  I exercised almost daily (something I had never done before).  I had a ton of energy.

I weighed 176.4 when I started in November.  I had lost nothing by March when I started “officially”.  I stopped counting calories in May, because I ate almost the same thing every day, and I had to stop running for a few weeks because of shin splints.  Today, on day 90, I weighed in at 148.4!  That’s a 28 pound weight loss!

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Look at the difference in my arms in these two pictures (above)!  I lost at least 3 inches from my arms (definitely more because I didn’t measure them until halfway through the 90-day challenge).  I also lost at least one inch from around my neck, at least 3 inches from my legs (both measured one month into the challenge), six inches from my waist, and five inches from my hips.  That’s 18 inches!!  My diastasis recti has improved dramatically.

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So here is what a typical day looked like for me during the challenge:

Breakfast 8am:
Coffee Shake — 8oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 8 oz coffee, 1/4 banana, 2 scoops of Vi shake mix.

Morning Snack 10am:
1/2 red grapefruit

Lunch 12pm:
Coffee shake (double morning recipe and store in fridge until lunch!)

Afternoon snack #1 at 2pm:
Apple with 1 tbsp peanut butter

Afternoon snack #2 at 4pm:
1/4 cup raw almonds and 1 cup grapes.

Supper 6pm:
Chicken salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing (bleu cheese and walnuts).

or 6-inch veggie delite sub from Subway with provolone cheese and red wine vinegar

or grilled chicken breast with asparagus

or a single serving of whatever the family was eating and a heaping side of steamed veggies.

Exercise:
Run/walk with Couch to 5k plan for 35 minutes

or yoga class for 60 minutes

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I tried cutting calories on my own without drinking the shakes and all it did was leave me hungry and even more tired.  This “diet” did not leave me hungry, at all.  Sometimes I didn’t even finish my shakes because I was full!  And, I could never have exercised without the energy that I got from the Body by Vi shakes.  I’m running a different 5k every month this summer and working towards a half marathon someday!

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What are your fitness and weight loss goals?  What gets in the way of you losing weight or exercising?

 

 

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Free Blogging Course & Web Hosting

Blogelina is offering another FREE blogging course!

Some of you might remember when I switched to my new URL from Blogger.  I moved this blog to a self-hosted wordpress website (which as not as difficult as it sounds!)  I signed up for this course last year and I really enjoyed it (and the free year of web hosting that came with it!)  Blogelina knows her stuff!

{FREE} 4-Week Profitable Blogging For Beginners Class

This month (until May 31st), you can sign up for the blogging class for free!  You’ll get…

  • A class manual to help get you started in your blogging career.
  • A 4 week online blogging course where you can share ideas and get advice from Blogelina and other bloggers.
  • A FREE YEAR OF WEBHOSTING FROM GO DADDY!!

Let me know if you sign up so I can make sure I’m subscribed to your blog!!  Don’t forget to sign up before May 31st!

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Trying to catch up…

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Just checking in to say hello and we’re still here!  Last month and this month have been busier than busy… I’m longing for just one day with everyone in the house and no where to go!  I have a lot of cleaning to catch up on as well…as you can see from that full laundry hamper up there in the photo!  I better get back to work 🙂 I hope you’re all finding ways to enjoy the nice spring weather!

Kristen

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Menu for April 21-27

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Sunday:  Chipotle.  This was my first time there.. it was amazing.  I got a chicken salad with black beans, mild salsa, corn&chile salsa, and dressing.  We’re addicted.  Look for some copy-cat recipes coming this summer!

Monday:  Subway.  Between coaching and boy scouts, it’s just easier to eat out on Mondays.

Tuesday:  Garlic Parmesan Chicken with potatoes and asparagus.  Thanks, Pinterest!

Wednesday:  Dinner with family.

Thursday:  Maybe Pizza??  Maybe leftovers to clean out the fridge before vacation…

Friday:  Vacation!!  And, I’m going to eat like a pig.

Saturday:  Vacation!!  I wonder how much weight I’ll gain back?