Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Food buget

Well it is Wednesday of the first week of the 80 dollar a week food challenge and we are at 74.76 and there is quite a few things I would like to be able to buy, mostly fresh food. As for the addition rules we have decided that money will not roll over. Other then that I don't have much to add, but needed to update my current weekly total.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Day 6 and 7 of Flats handwashing challenge Plus my next challenge

Today I am writing the last of my Flat diaper hand washing challenge, and to sum the experience up it is hard work. I have choose to combine the last two suggested writing topic due to time and having a sick child. My micro-man is really sick and has me worried, we have a Dr. appointment on Tuesday morning. I have learned a lot about myself in this challenge and found me to be more determined then I could have guessed, I also find myself to have a little more ingenuity the I know was possible.
I talked to my Mother-in-Law about her thoughts on cloth diapers and she did not like them due to the mess. I personally do not find them to be much messier then disposable really if I had a diaper sprayer I believe the mess that I do have would go away almost completely. What she did like about cloth was the cost saving and multiple uses other then as diapers.
I have been asking myself the question would I do this challenge again or for longer and the answer is yes I would. If I had to I would even do this as a lifestyle choice. I do not want to give up my washing machine and may have to find a new system to make hand washing work for everyday life.
I have found the different folds for the diapers to be fun to learn I may not be doing them right though and making my own folds. Of course it doesn't matter what fold you use as long as it keeps the baby dry and the poop in the diaper.
All in all this has been a learning experience and I feel like a better person for doing this.
Now for my next challenge, this one will be a lot longer term I am looking at making it last for the summer, I will be feeding my family of 4 on less then $80 a month. The rules of this challenge are not completely set yet but for now in addition to food and drink that $80 also has to cover smokes for my husband. This could be scary.
I will be using this blog to help keep track of my experiences. This week so far I have spent 66.60 and that includes all  meat, most veggies and fruit and all of the sides.
Lastly I am going to ask for opinions on so of the rules we are debating 1) should any other items then food and drink be included in that budget? 2) If we have extra money in our pockets can we use that to buy things like smokes, pop, treats for the kids ect. with out including it in our final total? and 3) If there is extra money at the end of a week can we carry the extra to the next week or should we start fresh every week?
Any thoughts ideas opinions would be appreciated.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Flats and Handwashing challenge Day 5

Day 5 and the topic is what have I learned, hmmm let me think.....HANDWASHING SUCKS!!!! Sorry but it does and I am all over it.
Now I got that out of my system what else have I learned, a far amount. First that if I ever needed to I can do this and survive. Now that is not to say that I would put myself in a situation where I would need to hand wash. well maybe camping.
Two I can understand why it seems better to use disposable instead of cloth when you have to wash them if you are busy or working,
Three I can take a day trip with cloth and live, I am not sure how I am going to wash them all in the morning but it will get done.
And finally if I ever thought of going back to disposable I will hate myself. When I have learned how often my children pee and how much and think about how often they get changed vs with disposable ones I feel guilty. When I have disposable diaper on they get changed only when they are soaked because I do not want to waste the diaper they cost too much. With a Flat I have to change every 2 hours or so. I think this may be good in determining if one is getting dehydrated,. by making when they pee more noticeable.
I do love my flats and they definitely have a place in my diaper rotation just not a constant all the time diaper

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Days 3 and 4 of Flats Challenge

Day 3 topic is what else do you use your flats for. For the people who do not know a flat diaper is a large square of cloth about 27 by 27 in that is very absorbant. I have found they have many uses, towels, rags, tissues, blankets, and clothes in a pinch or a toy. I personally have used my flat diapers for every thing but clothes.
Day 4 is more interesting, our washing routine. I did not make any special type of washing bucket or washboard. I am doing everything by hand in my bathroom sink limiting myself to only washing 3 diapers at a time. I am using Rocken Green detergent but I am thinking of trying seventh generation. I rinse in hot water fallowed by scrubbing for 5 min and rinsing the soap out of each indivdually. Then I hang them out on the line and bring them in when I take out the next load.
I am not really enjoying this whole process but I am going to finish out the week. Every time I do this I remember what it was like when my family was buying disposible due to several factors and was no washing machine. It was hard sometimes I had to choose some times between food, bills and diapers. I left my Mini-man in diapers longer then I should have to be able to afford every thing. I feel better being able to keep both my kids in diapers with out using a washing machine

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Flats Handwashing Challenge

Yesterday I started to use only flat (Large single cloth square) cloth diapers (when at home school and daycare will not use them) and hand wash them. I know this does not completely follow the rules set by the challenge issuer Dirty Diaper Laundry but her goal is to raise awareness of ways to cloth diaper on a small budget/low income families. She is also donating $1 to a diaper charity for every one who completes the challenge up to 200 and Kelly's Closet (a cloth diaper store) is adding $1 up to $200.. While this may not be a ton of money it is something and it helps.
DDL (dirty diaper laundry) is asking people to write about why they are doing this and what they are using. (She has a list of suggested topics for each day this is day one and twos topics)
My reasons for doing this are simple, I want to prove to myself I can and if I can do this at home I can do it while camping.
I am going simple for this challenge and using 12 Osocozy Flats and 6 Swaddlebees Flats. I have Snapi and Boingo fasteners. My covers are 2 Large Bummis covers, 2 econobuns, and 2 Grovia shells.
To wash I am using my bathroom sink and Rocken Green detergent and washing up to 4 diapers at a time.
So far the challenge is going OK and is easier then I thought it would be but it is only day two and today will be the second hardest day. Tomorrow I will have a better idea of how this will go for the rest of the week.

Saturday, 19 May 2012


So this year I am planting a garden. This is the first year I will be having my own garden at my house. I am so excited. While I know it is still early in the year to plant some stuff I am planting this weekend anyway.
The garden started out as a small project to save some money and eat better and has turned into a lifestyle change. We needed to save money and a garden fit the bill, we could grow our own food for a lot less then we can buy it. So then we decided to landscape the front of our house and went with blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry plants. Then we took out some evergreen trees that we are all allergic to and replaced them with apple trees. All this has cost us about $100 dollars, not a cheep venture when  you consider that this year we will get little to no fruit of the plants. Of course it is only a one time cost. I have not bought seeds or transplants yet but will be tomorrow or today and I will eventually post what that cost.
Later I found that some times children with ASD will be more likely to try food that they can see where it comes from and have a hand in growing. So that made the space I am using for the garden grow to a final area of 30X8 feet. It has been a lot of work to clear and we just finished it this week and filled all the low area. You should have seen the trash we dug out. Mini-Man thought that this was the best thing ever. He got to play "Farmer" ie helped us sift the dirt. I am surprised how excited he is to help already.
This will be an adventure in many things. I am sure to write more about it this summer and fall as it affects our family and I am learning to preserve food. Hope to get a picture up soon if I can find a camera.

Friday, 18 May 2012

End of the School year

I was trying to post more starting last week but I got sick but am feeling better now so I am trying to post at least every other day again.
Today I was in Walmart:( and I ran into one of Mini-mans classmates mom and she told me that school in ending on the 23 of May. Holy Sh**! I am not ready for this I was loving him in school, I got stuff done, OK so my house doesn't look like it now but hay I was sick and and slowly picking up and getting better. I have nothing set for summer or planned to do with him. I need to get on the ball. My problem is I want to get Mini-Man in some sort of care situation where he is getting some sort of stimulation and help with his issues. I am so afraid of him losing what he has learned this year. I will do what ever I can and pay out of pocket if I have too.
On the bright side I did find a farm in the area that does respite care for special needs kids and it working with a Physiologist office in the area to set up a horse riding therapy for special needs kids and I am thinking that is what I am going to do with him over the summer.
I do not know how I am going to handle having him all day long and trying to meet his needs on my own. I wish at this point in time I had my beliefs a little more grounded than what they are. I do not know what to do to find an inner calm at this point in time. I am in such a panic.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

More on diapers

So I question myself on parenting choices I have made. The major one is have I exposed my mini-man to too many chemicals causing his problems. While  I know that other children have been exposed to the same chemicals and have been fine I still wonder. The biggest exposure that I could find is the disposable diapers so I am now doing cloth and like I have already mentioned it did make a difference in his behavour.
In the spirit of this wonder I am attempting to participate in the 2012 Flats Challenge. On May 21 to 27 I am going to use only Flat diapers and covers to diaper micro-man. The other rule is that I have to hand wash them. For the people who do not know a flat diaper is a 27 by 27 (aprox) square of cloth that is folded to make a diaper that is fastened (no pins for me I want to use my Boingo's or I do have Snappis) to the baby, a water proof cover is needed to keep the diaper from leaking if baby has a large bladder or you don't change them right away.
I will still be using disposable when he goes to daycare mostly because they are provided. Other then that I will use Flats. While I do not think that many people will care or even want to read about the challenge I will be attempting to blog about it daily. The challenge, rewards, how clean the diapers get hand washing, and any other issues we have.
NOTE: I have had issues writing about mini-man and the issues he is having. I am overwhelmed with the daily life and have issues talking about it so for a while I will be attempting to post about other interest things I am passionate about. I will try to tie it all back to how it affects my life and my mini-man and micro-man.

Friday, 11 May 2012


Diapers ugg I hate them with a passion. I know they are a fact of life when you have little ones but they still stick. My major problem is the cost. Disposable cost about .20 each for the cheepest one, and they do not work as well as the name brand that cost around .40 each and then go in the trash after one use. I don't know about any one else who sees this but I can not afford to throw that much  money out in a day if you think about how many diapers on child uses in a day, 6 or more.
Now have 2 in diapers and you can see how quickly the cost add up. I have 2 in diapers and we go through about 18 or more a day or about 3.60 a day. Figure this out for a month and yeah I don't even what to think about the cost.
The other thing about disposable diaper is the chemicals in them. I like to call them chemical diapers. A lot of older people call them paper diapers. This drives me nuts. There is no paper to speak of in a chemical diaper. There is some kind of cotton out side and a super absorbent chemical core.
All that being said you may be able to see why I switched to cloth diapers. I have fallen in love with cloth. They cost a bit more up front but I no longer need to worry about not having diapers on hand, all I have to do is a load of laundry if I get low. The best ones I have go on just like a disposable, not hard at all even my DH uses them. Now I do have some of the cheep old school cloth diapers that no one else in my family or who takes care of my children will use but that is OK due to the fact I do most of the the diaper changes here any way.
The other thing cloth did is help mini-man with some of the behaviours he has. I do not know why unless the chemicals were bugging his skin and that made him act out. 
Now I do still have a use for disposables mostly in the form of child care. My daycare wants disposables as does the mini-mans school. I do not mind using the few disposables in theses few cases. In fact in ways it make life easier. 
So while I encourage any one who is having a baby to use cloth or at least look at the long term cost and consider it I do understand there is a place for disposable diapers.