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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!

time management

Time Savers: Steps Basket

You know the feeling, when you walk into a room, you stop, and think, “Why did I come in here?”  That happens to me more often if I’m constantly going up and down the steps.

Save yourself a trip.

Put a basket at the bottom of your staircase to collect anything that needs to go up.  Every time you do need to go upstairs, take a few things with you.

I do this with laundry baskets, too.  I wait until I need to go upstairs to carry the clothes up… sometimes my knight-in-shining-armor carries the heavy baskets for 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.

time management

Time Savers: Shower Multitasking

This tip came from one of my college students!!

Do you have long hair?  What do you do while your conditioner is soaking?

Don’t just stand there!  Get something done!  Twist your hair up into a bun and go about your business.

  • Brush your teeth
  • Wash your face
  • Shave your legs

While you’re at it, save some water, too!  Stop and turn the water off when you don’t need it running.

 

time management

Time Savers: Double Trouble

Once-a-Month cooking seems like such a wonderful idea — dozens of meals, ready at a moments notice — until you try to do it.  It can be overwhelming when you don’t plan correctly.  It can take all day, or even several days to make everything on the list.  It’s exhausting.  For me, it ended up being more tiring than actually cooking every night and we didn’t like the food as much.

So, instead of following someone else’s menu and plan, I needed to create my own.  We needed food we actually enjoy and a more convenient way of making it.

Make the meals as you go!

  • If you’re making a casserole on Monday, make two and freeze one.
  • If you’re making a meatloaf on Tuesday, make two and freeze one.
  • If you’re marinating chicken on Wednesday, make THREE bags and freeze two of them!

After a month, you’ll have a month’s worth of meals frozen with very little extra effort!!

time management

Time Savers: The Toilet

Cleaning the toilet grosses me out.  I use the Clorox refillable wand, because then I never have to even come close to touching anything.  I just push the button and the dirty part falls into the trash can.  Hands off cleaning.

Because I hate cleaning the toilet, I try to do it as little as possible.  I put bleach tablets in the tank of the toilets.  You can get all kinds of colors and scents, but I like just straight bleach.  Clorox calls them Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaners.  Sounds good to me!