Friday, May 13, 2011

More details of our preps for the handwashing challenge

Quick link back to the rules.

So I've been going back and forth on posting some more details or not...I've decided that I should and maybe it will help another mama.

We've been in a situation in our VERY recent past (during my pregnancy with Baby K) that we wouldn't have been able to buy diapers period.  No cloth, no nothing.  We could barely buy groceries.  Ok, let's be honest-we had to have help to even buy groceries.  We made "too much" to qualify for any assistance but had too much going out in medical bills and everything else to be able to afford anything really.  I sat home other than my appointments with my midwife.  Monkey and I went to the library every so often but we couldn't go on any playdates or see other people.  It got to the point we could only drive to church and to see family once in a while.  It was rough and super embarrassing.  I cried a lot.  I didn't feel like doing much including blogging.  I still made sure Monkey was reading books often but that's about all we did!  We had already canceled everything we possibly could that we weren't under contract for (stupid satellite-we couldn't afford to break the contract though!).  Our A/C broke and we couldn't afford to have anyone look at it.  We sat here burning up in the heat and trying to save money by keeping stuff off.  It sucked.  I was SUPER grateful we used cloth diapers because Monkey needed something to keep him dry at bed and nap (he's been day trained since 18 months).  I'm not saying this to get sympathy or anything-it is what it is.  We learned a lot and I learned how to help us eat super cheap and we learned to be grateful for VERY small blessings.  I didn't think at all to wash laundry by hand though or anything like that.

The flats challenge opened up my mind to washing something by hand besides wool diaper covers or some of those things you have to hand wash.  Hubby lived in Brazil for 2 years (while serving his LDS mission) and had to wash his laundry by hand.  He was fortunate to have a clothesline-I don't have that "luxury" nor am I allowed to with my HOA.  I did find out about this: $5 indoor clothes line and we plan to make one once we move.  I do have a small drying rack but it's just enough to hang dry the kids clothes (we have a high heat only drier so I hang dry most of my clothes and the boys' clothes-I have one little shelf in my laundry room plus this drying rack and use our towel rack in our bathroom and our banisters for diapers, clothes, etc).  I also found out about this: Breathable Washer (I also learned about this but didn't think it will suit our needs of washing laundry for our whole family while hubby is in graduate school).  Learning about these from links from Dirty Diaper Laundry and other ladies doing the challenge I decided that I *CAN* do our laundry by hand if I need to.  We won't be able to afford laundry facilities and we possibly won't be able to get an apartment or rent a home with washer and drier hookups.  I wasn't even open to this a few weeks ago.  I guess I can sit here and say I'm open to doing it with the luxury of a working washer and drier but I do feel like I can do it if that's what I need to do.

I'm super grateful that Kim started this.  Yet another small blessing.  Also, we were able to get some stuff paid off and got some SUPER good news when it came to insurance so I decided with the little extra we have to help a couple other mamas out by buying their flats for the challenge.  I offered to pay the mama back that bought ours (I'm still VERY grateful for her help-I didn't think we were going to be able to do it but we got really good news and were able to pay for things that we didn't think we could!) but she said to buy them for another mom instead.  I put out the offer and had two respond fairly quickly.  I wish I could have helped a third but I can't.  I hope the two mamas I'm helping will be able to use the diapers for a long time to come.  I know we'll be able to use them on Baby K's tushie and any other babies that we will welcome while hubby is in grad school or after.

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