Monday, May 21, 2012

Flats and Handwashing Challenge: Day 1 Complete

I am required by Kim to post the following on every post (along with some other blogging rules that you need not worry about):

I am taking part in the
Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all.  You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!  For those of you who don't know me, I'm a desert dweller with two children, ages 2 years and 5 months, who are both taking part in the Challenge.

So how's it going?

Alright.  The baby was fine with the overnight diaper.  The toddler came out in a puddle.  Tonight I've decided to use a yard of flannel and pad fold a receiving blanket.  He looks like a stuffed turkey.  I'm shocked that I was able to wrangle a cover on him at all.  HB (the toddler) also gave me hell this morning about changing his poop.

The infant is a heavy day wetter, but I'll live with that.

I was nervous about the flats like I was about everything with newborn stuff.  But I'll relax more and get into a routine (instead of checking diapers every half hour) again.  That and I hate handwashing.

Ah, yes.  Today's post is supposed to be about why I joined the challenge (it's actually supposed to be about my supplies, but I already covered that so scroll down to the post below)?  I joined to get a huge amount of blogging hits.  Just kidding.  I joined because secretly I'm a sadist.  Not really.  Okay, I'll stop with the jokes.

Reasons why I joined the Challenge
1) Sociability- I admit it.  I like people.  I like getting to know crunchy people across the country.

2) Ideas- With socializing comes ideas for how to deal with common cloth diapering problems.  That's a plus.

3) My biggest reason:  I'm on WIC-  While I don't consider us poor (because to me that means I live in my car), according to the government our income is slightly above the poverty line.  But Hubby is working his way up through the job market, I chose to stay home for the good of the kids (being a former day care worker I don't think it's healthy for young children to cared for by others who aren't family), and our mortgage is upside down so we can't sell our condo so we both rent, watch our equity go down the tubes, invest in the renovation of a condo, and rent it out.

WIC, yeah back to that part.  We are not on food stamps.  We wouldn't qualify.  Not with owning a condo which is considered an asset and our IRAs that we had back in the day.  You know the day before children.  Cash in your IRA; eat the penalties.  Try to sell your condo; live in debt.  

But with WIC it's based on income.  You could loose your job, be living off unemployment and what you've saved, and qualify for WIC.  The program is small compared to the Food Stamp program.  I think they spend about 100 USD on us a month. 

The one good thing about WIC is it's supplemental nutrition for young children, who are too young for school and reduced lunches.  They encourage breastfeeding, but they don't offer a diaper program.  Nothing govermental wise does.  I use WIC for my kids.  Otherwise I would refuse government help altogether.  I don't believe in hand outs. 

And I've seen it.  People who are poorer than us.  People who come from poor backgrounds whose mother's can't buy them fancy cloth.  People whose mother in laws can't buy them nice carseats (just got it today, Britax MIUSA).  They are the ones who struggle.  We're not really struggling; we're just treading water.

Those people need to be made aware of affordable diapering options and with a large mass of us surely some media outlet will mention it.

Let's end on a happier note:  Pictures!!!  Mostly of the baby though.  Toddlers are a bit harder to capture on camera.  They don't sit still.

Origami fold of Flour Sack Cloth, Snappi, in Bummis Cover

First poop of the day; the Second was the Toddler's; Strategic placement of my hand

Smarti Pants pocket diaper, with FSC pad folded

Uh, Kim?  I don't think a 5 gallon bucket works for two kiddos.  We'll use the tub instead. Diapers being washed.

My illegal drying of cloth diapers on my back porch overnight.  That's not the whole of them.  Some are hanging over the tub.  I live in the desert with triple digit temps.  I can have them dry in no time.  Are you jealous?


  1. Wow, that is a lot of laundry, and your right, a 5 gallon bucket would not fit!

  2. I know I'm jealous....I've had my diapers out on my porch all of yesterday and so far today, and they're still not quite dry. It's rainy and cold here.

  3. I illegally dry our stuff outside too. Isn't renting fun? (Yeah right!)
    My toddler woke up fine, but the four month old was soaked!

  4. We went a condo and in the condo association rules it says you can't make a clothesline. I'm not making a clothesline; I'm using a drying rack on our balcony. :-D I know what you mean about treading water. It's so hard. My husband and I live near DC; he has a Master's degree and is currently getting his PhD. He has not been able to find a full time job, so he works two part time jobs 50+ hours/week.


I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!