Thursday, May 23, 2013

Flats and Handwashing Callenge Day 4: How's it going eh?

Well it's Day 4 of the Flats challenge...I forgot to blog yesterday...I'm a bit terrible at this still.

Today is all about how hand washing is going for you. Let me start by telling you this...hand washing in a very busy household with 3 children under 5 is crazy and busy. I thought hooray less diapers to wash then when we do a load every 2 days, I can do this every night. I will win at all the cloth diaper washing....hahaha...yea...not so much.

We are taking the simple approach, no rigged up washing machines etc for us. Just the kitchen sink, some dish soap, my hands and a clothes line. Hand washing is pretty simple. My diapers look lovely soaking away in the sink. I let them soak for about 10 minutes and then go to town scrubbing and plunging and squishing them to cleanliness! It's relaxing and pretty easy, even with the poop stained ones. Those I take a scrub brush and more soap to, but I'm not the laundry queen and still end up with stains. (Someone tell me how to get stains outta ALL my diapers!)

Flats in the sink
Then we move on to the rinsing. This is where it gets tricky. I wring out all the soapy water, drain the sink, rinse it out and then fill it up again with clean water. Then in go the flats and I plunge the heck outta them. After that process I rinse them under running water (into my sink of now slightly soapy rinse water), wring them out and toss them in the basket.

Off we go outside to hang them to dry (unless of course it is today...) I love line drying, it makes everything smell so clean and fresh! Plus generally we have a wind breeze (Did you know Lethbridge gets hurricane force winds on a regular basis, the only difference is we don't get the destructive effect of the water along with the wind), breezes make things dry faster!

Just a bit of a breezy day and sunshine! 
So all in all hand washing is going pretty decently, other then that I just don't have much time for it...seriously this week we have been home very little, my house is suffering. In fact we are taking advantage of the rainy day today to catch up on some laundry and general clean up. Maybe I should go wash this round of flats too while I'm at it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day 1 and Day 2 combined!

Wow it's been awhile since I've blogged anything...craaazzyy! life kind of got in the way. But I'm kicking off a new goal to actually keep up with blogging! To start off we have joined into the 3rd Annual Flats and Hand washing Challenge this year.

I missed posting yesterday (sorry it was the long weekend up here in Canada and we were off hanging out with family with little internet access :D) So today is a catch up of yesterday and today.

We started off smoothly yesterday, Little Bug (surprise to those of you who followed me before, we have baby #3 but I digress!) cooperated and didn't poop. He went easy on mommy to start with...not so much today haha! Anyways yesterday's topic was why did I take the challenge?

Little Bug in his first ever flat, and the first I've used in almost 6 years!
Well... because I'm least that's what Lemur Daddy says ;) To put this in perspective I have been cloth diapering for almost 6 years straight now. When I started cloth diapering we didn't have a lot of money and my mom started me out with flats and plastic pants. Oh I hated flats and plastic pants with a passion and eventually found my way to easier options. But thinking back on it, flats were the easiest available and cheapest option for our situation. I am very passionate about all things birth and baby so I wanted to show people that you don't need to spend tons of money or necessarily have laundry facilities etc to do cloth. I have my diaper stash that I love, and will always love but a week of flats and hand washing I think will do me a world of good. I get to go back to basics, and all the while maybe make a difference and change someone's perspective of how "hard" cloth is. Also I'm hoping that I learn a thing or two along the way!

So Day 2 is all about Preparation and Supplies:

Like I said I have an amazing stash ;) seriously some day I will post pics of our stash but today is about my flats stash. I had absolutely NO flats at all when I decided to do this challenge. So instead of going online and ordering a bunch (shipping to Canada can sometimes be crazy!) I decided to try to show how you can do it in a pinch or if you don't have access to actual flats.

My stash consists of:

2 flannel receiving blankets
6 ikea burp cloths
6 tea towels
2 snappis (already in my stash)
2 wool wrap covers (already in my stash)
A few wool longies/soakers (already in my stash)
1 night time fitted from our stash as we can't part with our night time system that works so well for us!

I started by putting out a call on my local free cycle group for towels and old receiving blankets. I got a couple receiving blankets and a stack of kitchen towels- cost to me: price of gas to pick them up! essentially free in some cases as friends dropped them off.

Then I discovered the Ikea burp cloths and they were cute...I'm a sucker for cute diapers even if they aren't going to be seen much. So I HAD to have some. Now we don't have an Ikea here which is a bit Lame but that's ok. I got a wonderful friend in a city a couple hours from me to pick some up on her way down. Ikea "flats" come in packs of 2 for $4.99. I have 3 packs so cost was- approx $15.

The snappis were already in my stash but they are relatively inexpensive to order online. I think they probably cost me $2-$3 for the 2 of them from a really sweet Mama. Now I did also find pins at the dollar store (I don't get along with pins so no pins for me!)

Covers were a doozy for me...they are probably the most expensive but that's because I love wool and we only use wool. I didn't buy any specifically for this challenge I have tons already in my stash. You don't need to use wool, PUL or fleece covers work well too. If you do choose to use wool, and can knit you can pick up just a cheap ball of 100% wool at any craft store, grab some knittng needles and a free pattern off of ravelry and make your own. Technically for this challenge the cost to me was $0 on my covers but for the tally of things I'll say we use 2 covers that cost $30 each as you really only need 2-3 covers to make it work. So total cost: $60

In total for the challenge I spent $15.00 since my stash already had lots of what I needed. If I had to buy everything my total cost would still be less then $100 ($78) not including soap and a clothes line that you could pick up at the dollar store.

Our Ikea "flats" and one of our Snappi's cute huh? 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

How Does your Garden Grow?

Well it's the Long Weekend up here in Canada! We were supposed to go camping but that got cancelled due to the possiblity of alot of rain where we were headed (me, Mr. Daddy, Lemur, Koala AND the grandparents all stuck in a teeny tiny Motorhome all weekend is not my idea of fun!) So Mr. Daddy headed off to Regina to help out a friend (Regina is about an 8 hour drive) so he's gone for the weekend leaving me in charge at home. And well as you can see we are all still here, the Raptur didn't happen and it gave me a chance to get started on my gardening. I grew up on an acreage and we always put our garden in on the Long Weekend in May. So I'm carrying on that tradition. Now I did cheat a little bit and the front "flower" beds were planted last week. But today before he left Mr. Daddy brought me a truck load of dirt (happiest girl in the world right now!).

I set up tonight to get started creating my gardens, we have to do container gardening because we rent and there is no place to put an actual garden in. After a quick adventure to Walmart (GASP!) to get some landscaping fabric...and a few plants...We were in business. Lemur, Koala and I got busy in the backyard. My containers are two semi beat up kiddie pools that we had laying around from last summer. I poked holes in the bottom to help with drainage, lined them with landscaping fabric and then filled them with dirt. Man you should've seen me, I was barefoot in the back of a truck scooping out dirt by the bucket full into the wheelbarrow while trying to convince Lemur that he should not Climb into the back of the truck with me. On my second trip with the wheelbarrow, the Neighbours across the street asked if I wanted a shovel because it looked like I needed one. Actually the bucket method was working pretty well for us and I had a shovel already but it was nice of them to offer. They commented on my adorable helpers (Lemur and Koala). So we busied ourselves filling the kiddie pools with dirt. The munchkins had fun scooping up dirt with their buckets and "helping". It was a grand time! Lemur and Koala also collected some earthworms and tossed them into our gardens.

Well we got the dirt in and started to plant. This was interesting, Koala helped put the seeds in, she was a little overzealous with the peas but hey, who doesn't like fresh peas? Anyways we got everything planted except our strawberry plants which we shall do tomorrow. Here's a list of whats in our garden this year:

Front Gardens:
East- Lettuce, Spinach, Dill, Chammomile, Basil, Lavendar, Rosemary, Chives, Garlic Chives, Parsely, Sorrel, Candy Mint, Cinnamon Basil, Italian Oregano.

West- Onions, Garlic, Sunflowers (at the very back), watermelons, and a cucumber plant.

Container Gardens:
Big pool- Peas (still have to add our fence for them to climb on), carrots, beets
Little Pool- Pumpkins, Spaghetti Squash, zucchini, cucumbers

4 tomato plants

And there you have it, our gardens for the year, we have some strawberry plants as well that I need to build a box for still. What's in your garden?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Annnd....We're BACK!

Well we're back! Its been a few months but I kind of got out of the blogging phase for awhile (fell off the wagon so to speak!) But we're back, and still on a day to day adventure. Here's an update on our lives:

Lemur- He has been going to pre-school twice a week, somedays are great, somedays not so much...Pre-school is almost over for the year and he will be going back in the fall for 5 days a week. We will see how that goes but we might cut it back a little. His speech has improved considerably but it definately still needs some work, his behaviours are still so-so. Some days it is really hard to deal with him other days he's really good. Sensory wise we're still at the same spot, he bites himself, chews on random things, drools alot etc. We are working on getting him into a pediatrician to see if we can go forward with a diagnosis. On the other front, he's growing like crazy, happy and such a sweet little boy. He absolutely loves to do puzzles and he's started doing tons of imaginative play!!! He has such a wild imagination, you never know what we will be doing next, we might be digging for dinosaur bones or slaying dragons or baking a birthday cake!

Koala- She is growing like a weed and turning into such a little girl. Her speech is amazing for her age, her newest word is "Carbohydrate" She loves to play with her babies, she's quite the little mommy. She's also rough and tumble, loving dirt and bugs as much as picking flowers. She'll wear a pretty dress but at the end of the day you'll find her right in the dirt next to the Lemur. She is still breastfeeding (We made it past the 2 year mark!!!) although we have now started down the path of weaning. Mostly we nurse at nap time, bedtime and at night. I'm a bit sad that my baby is growing up but I look forward to our new adventures as a toddler and a big girl.

Mama- My life has been extremely busy, I've been busy doing work for our local Doula association (check out, knitting, crocheting and sewing up a storm all while balancing life with the Lemur and the Koala. Right now I'm working on a colour swap package going out to a very special crafty person in the US. It's a surprise swap so SHHHH! I'm crocheting a nicey lacey cowl made out of Alpaca and have some gorgeous buttons from Tessa Ann Designs (custom made!) to put on it. I'll share a pic when its finished. I'm also trying to finish off a little red riding hood cape for Koala. I have a lovely stash of other yarn sitting here waiting for projects. There is some lovely stuff waiting to be knit up into a present for a wonderful Mama Friend and her brand new baby boy! and some more waiting for another Mama Friend who has yet to have her sweet little baby.

Mr. Daddy- He has been busy working...working and more working...Snow season was rough on us all this year, Lethbridge got a crazy amount of snow and he was gone alot but we made it through. I think the best parts of our day is when Mr. Daddy gets home from work and takes some time to play with the munchkins. He is teach Lemur how to ride a bike! Lemur has figured it out pretty quickly and I'm very proud of both of them.

Well that's our update! stay tuned for more of our adventures in Lemurland!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

An update on the adventures with the Lemur

It's been awhile since I've blogged yet again, life just keeps exploding and spiraling out of control on me. AHHHHHHH!!!! Anyways I'm going to give a quick update on the Lemur. He has had his first in home therapy session with his behavioural therapist and he sees her again tomorrow. He is learning how to play again. We're starting to experience more behavioural issues again, not sure if its because he's refusing to nap during the day so he's tired or if something else is going on. Its getting frustrating to deal with the screaming, throwing himself onto the floor tantrums over simple communication. He knows his words but he's back sliding with everything. He is seeing his speech path once a week at pre-school and the pre-school also asked us to get his eyes checked. So we have to make an appointment with an eye doctor. All his assessments are in, I have to book him in with the Doc and push for a referral to the Pediatrician. We may push to go to Calgary to see a Ped instead of seeing one down here. We've received a great reccomendation for Calgary. So we'll see what his doctor is willing to do. We're waiting on his first OT session which will be later this month hopefully. So its all coming together I guess, its just all very overwhelming and still feels like its spiraling out of control :S

Friday, September 17, 2010

Doula? Huh what?

Doula...It's a word that we have started to hear more and more related to having babies. You see advertisements sometimes plastered everywhere, You Deserve a Doula! You might have even heard of someone who had a doula for their birth. So what is a doula? There's alot of article out there about what doulas are and how they affect birth etc etc. So for some of you this might just be a repeat of what you already know.

What is a Doula? A doula is generally a woman (sometimes a man) who assists and supports a woman (as well as her birth partner and family) through labour and birth. Some doulas provide support afterwards as well but we will get to that. The doula does this through non-medical means. She provides emotional and physical support as well as giving the mother and her family information to help them make an informed decision about their birth choices. There are some different types of Doulas. There are labour/birth doulas who support mothers through the birth and post-partum doulas who support the mom and her family afterwards when they come home. There are also ante-natal doulas who offer support mainly to high risk mothers through their pregnancies.

What do Doulas do? Doulas meet their clients, maybe do some pre-natal meetings, discuss birth plans, assist their clients in making informed choices about their birth, provide them with information and access to community resources. They are there for labour and birth offering emotional and physical support. Some doulas also do extra things like helping plan a blessingway (mother blessing), belly casting, henna, massage etc. Doulas also provide access to resources within the community. Post-Partum Doulas also provide support for the mom and family when they come home. They do a range of things from providing breastfeeding support, to cooking, light cleaning, helping with older children etc. Ante-natal doulas provide support and information through pregnancy and typically do a range of things like light housekeeping etc if a mother is put onto bedrest. No matter what type of doula they are the doula provides a level of emotional support to their clients as well as the physical support.

What are the benefits? There are alot of studies on the benefits of doulas. Most of the studies conclude fairly similar results.

Having a doula present:
Reduced the overall cesarean rate by 50%

Reduced the length of labor by 25%

Reduced oxytocin use by 40%

Reduced the use of pain medication by 30%

Reduced forceps deliveries by 40%

Reduced requests for epidural pain medication by 60%

Reduced incidences of maternal fever

Reduced the number of days newborns spent in NICU (neo-natal infant care unit)

Reduced the amount of septic workups performed on newborns

Resulted in higher rates of breastfeeding

Resulted in more positive maternal assessments of maternal confidence

Resulted in more positive maternal assessments of maternal and newborn health

Resulted in decreased rates of postpartum depression
(from Mothering The Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth, Marshall Klaus, John Kennell and Phyllis Klaus)
Doulas are a great asset to your birth team, if you are looking for more information on doulas check out or contact your local doula association.