It’s been a while since I’ve updated but life in the Rivers’ household has been extremely busy. We spent a few month apart due to Koryn attending a school for the Army. We made a surprise trip out to Texas to see Koryn for the first time in almost 4 months. We got to spend a little family time in Texas before driving back to Tennessee. Finally, we went home to Florida for Christmas break! That’s just a little of what we’ve been up to these few months.
Yesterday, we had a nice surprise and had a snow day! We woke up Friday morning to the news school was closed and we would get to stay home and play in the snow! Friday morning the ice was getting worse then by mid afternoon the snow was falling! We spent hours outside in the snow. We tried, and failed, to build a snowman, we ran up and down the street taking turns pulling Mackenzie around in her sled, and we dug our car out of the snow.
Mackenzie LOVED playing in the snow and did not want to come in when we were done! She had so much fun running around the yard, trying to throw snowballs at us, and jumping into piles of snow.
I’m so glad we were able to enjoy this snow day as a family and have fun relaxing and playing outside. One of my new year’s resolutions is to be more active on this blog. We have a lot of big changes coming to our family over these next few months and blogging in just one way to help our family get through everything. If there are any topics you want us to write about, please let me know below!
It has been a while since I posted anything here so I have a little bit of updating to do! First off, I’m so excited to say for the past few months I have been working! I got a job teaching at a local Montessori school and I am so excited about this. Since I am now working full-time, Mackenzie has also had the opportunity to go to the same school where I work. She has grown so much since starting school and this has been such a great opportunity for both of us. Secondly, Koryn has been away for a little while now and our family will not be together again for a few more weeks/months.
We have faced so many adjustments and changes in the past few months but it has been better for our family in the long run. With all of that being said, today’s post is all about our back-to-school/work survival kit and favorites. Adjusting to working again and have a toddler in school full time all while being alone is so new to us and we learned a lot about what works and doesn’t work for our family.
The first thing we could not live without for school is essential oils! We use Plant Therapy oils and LOVE the roll-on bottles. The ones we keep on hand and use almost daily are lavender, nighty night, germ fighter, germ destroyer, and sniffle stopper! I get mine from Amazon but we also get coupons all the time from their site! Ebates is offering a 3.75% cash back right now and you can sign up using my link and get $10! Our nighty night and lavender are used nightly in our household.
The second product we LOVE are the planet wise reuseable ziplock bags. We have them in several pattern and sizes. These are perfect for school snacks and snacks on the go. We use their sandwich bags and snack size bags almost daily. Personally, we use the zipper bag versus the velcro ones but we do have some of each!
Our third must have is the Squeasy pouch! Mackenzie loves to eat applesauce and smoothies and this is the perfect item for this! These are so easy to wash and even easier to fill up! I was so tired of buying the applesauce pouches that you throw away so these made our lives so much easier and I can’t wait to get more!
These past two months have been have huge change for us but it has been so great. We have loved being able to get out of the house and Mackenzie is learning so much. I cannot wait until Koryn comes home and we can spend the holidays together as a family.
Today is an open topic and I’ll be touching base on something I’ll expand on in a later post. At first, I had no idea what i wanted to write about for today until I woke up and dreaded washing diapers today. It wasn’t because it’s time consuming, because it’s actually pretty quick. It wasn’t because drying takes forever, because it really doesn’t take long at all. But it was because I miss my old diapers and miss the convince for throwing them in the washing machine and dryer and letting the machines do all the work.
That’s when it hit me, this is what the challenge is really about. Many families struggle to provide diapers for their children and for some hand washing is the only way to provide diapers for their children. One of the purposes of this challenge was to show using cloth diapers can be easily done without a washing machine or dryer and that it could be done on a budget. As much as I love this challenge and what I am learning, I can’t wait for next week when we can get back to our other diapers and wash routine! If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Well I missed day 3 yesterday since we had a really busy day so today’s post will cover day 3 and day 4. The question for day 3 was to share your favorite flats fold. This was pretty easy since we only use two types of folds. We use the kite fold and pad fold. The pad fold is super simple and I think that’s why we use it most. We use a kit fold at night or if I think we’ll need extra absorbency.
Share your wash routine!
I think I’m most excited about this because I actually really like washing diapers. We use a 5 gallon bucket from Home Depot and a plunger for our washing machine. Our first step is to rinse the diapers. Sometime I rinse them off in the sink then put them in the bucket, other times especially if I’m washing a lot of flats I put them all in the bucket and fill it with cold water. I use the plunger to agitate the diapers and do anywhere from 60-90 pumps with the plunger. I take all the flats, covers, and wipes out and rinse them and put them to the side. I empty the bucket and refill it with HOT water.
I put a little detergent (we use tide powder) and put the diapers back in the bucket. Now we start the washing cycle. I use the plunger to agitate the diapers again, using at least 90 pumps. I may or may not let the diapers sit for a few minutes before starting the wash cycle. I take the diapers out again, rinse the diaper off, empty the bucket and refill it one more time for a final rinse cycle. The final rinse cycle is done with COLD water and I, once again, do about 60 pumps with the plunger. Everything is rinsed and squeezed out and taken outside to line dry.
We have been very lucky that we have had amazing weather and I’m able to hang dry out diapers. I try and wash first thing in the morning so they’ll have more time to dry but for the most part my diapers only take a few hours to dry. The other day I did two washes and by the time I was done with the second wash of diapers, my first load of diapers was already dry!
Don’t forget to read about the challenge and other’s experiences here!
If you want to read more about the challenge click here! Today is day two of the #bringflatsback flats and hand washing cloth diaper challenge and I am really loving it so far! Today I have washed diapers twice and hung them to dry while I did errands around town and cleaned up around the house and I was so surprised with our simple it was to wash and dry diapers.
The questions posed for day two is what is in your stash and how much did it cost? Everything we have used and will be using for the challenge was items we had on hand or ones we already use for diapering. The flats we are using are flour sack towels from Wal-Mart and a pack of 5 is less than $5 but our store has them in a pack of 10 and I normally grab a pick every few weeks to have on hand. We are also using three different brands of covers. The covers we are using come from Abby’s Lane, Nicki’s Diapers *aff link, and Buttons Diapers! The prices of these covers vary based off of brand and if I found them on sale or bought them second hand. We also have two snappi’s in rotation. The snappi’s come in a pack of 3 for $10 but we are missing the third one. I will probably add a hemp booster for our nighttime diaper because we sadly tried using just one fst last night and let’s just say all the sheets needed to be changed this morning.
Today starts day one of the flats and hand washing challenge! I’m participating in the Flats and Hand washing Challenge hosted by Cloth Diaper Revival. This event will continue for seven days and we will being using flour sack towels and covers both of which were store bought rather than handmade. Rules for the post can be found here.We actually started last night with our nighttime diaper which consisted of a flour sack towel (fst) and booster since Mackenzie is a heavy wetter and sleeps 12 hours a night. Day one of the challenge includes answering the question why are we taking the flats and hand washing challenge and this was probably the easiest question for me to answer. The main reason why we are taking it is because one of the most asked questions we get is how to you wash diaper and the second most asked is how expensive is it. This challenge will show others how you can cloth diaper on a budget and even without a washing machine or dryer.
We had a very busy day today and it was a tad nerve wracking to be out and about using flats and covers since our normal diapers are pockets (pocket are allowed during the challenge but I really wanted to use just flats and covers). It was a lot easier than I originally thought and we didn’t have any issues using a few fsts and two covers. Tomorrow or maybe tonight will be washing day and Thursday will cover more about our hand washing routine! I’m so excited to participating in this challenge and cannot wait to see how this week turns out. If you have any questions leave them below and they will be answered during Friday’s blog post! Each day will have a different topic covered that relates to this challenge. If you want to read from others who are participating in this challenge check out these hashtags on social media #flatschallenge #bringingflatsback
Happy Birthday to our sweet little girl! I can’t believe that it has been a whole year since you made your grand entrance. This year has been the most amazing, tiring, and magical year of my life. For such a little girl, you have made the biggest impact in our lives. Hearing you cry for the first time was the most amazing sound in the world and now I get to spend my days watching you run and play. We have been on so many adventures and I know we are only getting started on all the adventures we’ll take as a family. You have brought so much love and joy into our lives and it is so hard to picture what life was before you were born.
You were just a tiny 8 lbs 1 oz 20 inches long baby and now you’re 23 lbs and 30 inches long as a toddler! Every day that I watch you grow, learn, and explore teaches me more about myself and more about the person you are becoming. You are such a happy, smart, and funny child. You have dance moves that make us laugh and your hugs and kisses are something we don’t ever take for granted. There’s so much more I want to write and say but instead I’m going to lay here and enjoy nursing you one more time as a baby before you wake up and become a toddler. We love you so much Mackenzie!