Sunday, September 23, 2012

Some Things We've Been Up To

So, the last few weeks have been really busy.  I've been enjoying the fall weather coming in, and it makes me really want to get in all the fun the pretty weather will allow.  I also am busy preparing for the cold that I can feel creeping in, putting out all the winter clothes, trying on coats, making plans for scarves and mittens and hot chocolate.  Maybe I've been reading too much A Game of Thrones, but the phrase "Winter is coming" is hitting a chord with me lately.  I feel like a squirrel gathering nuts, trying to make sure we're all warm, comfortable, and safe in the cold this year.

We have been taking lots of time together and it's been wonderful.  I think this fall is going to be one full of wonderful memories.  A few of the things we've been up to include:

Serious Construction Projects

Always wear proper headgear when building with blocks!

 Making friends.

Taken at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies.

 And, creating masterpieces.

Persephone's pumpkin she painted for our front porch.

I hope that this gorgeous weather holds...we have lots more memories to make!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Doing the Diapers

I was going to write today and show you all the curtains I sewed for the house.  We moved in and had NO window treatments in any of the windows, and I was really tired of having to huddle in our tiny bathroom to change and then turn out the lights to get into to bed rather than risk scandalizing the neighbors with me in my nightie, but I changed my mind and will do that post later.

Instead, I'm going to blow your mind with my awesome find.  But first, a little backstory.

We are a cloth diapering family.  Both of our girls wore Sunbaby pocket cloth diapers like these.  We have loved them dearly and I can't tell you how much money we've saved over the last two and a half years by using them.  We sing their praises to everyone we know.  Not only are they good for our budget, they are aren't chlorine-laden, and when we use them we don't generate mounds of garbage that will sit in a landfill somewhere for goodness-knows how long.

However, we are having a quandary.  Our new place does not have washer and dryer hookups.  Our little river community has it's own laundry mat that is very close and convenient.  However, at $1.00 a load to wash, and $1.00 a load to dry, we would lose the financial advantage of cloth diapering.  I would also be spending a LOT of time traipsing back and forth to the laundry mat with two little ones in tow, only to find out that all the machines are full.  (It's been happening a lot lately.)

So, we've been using disposables.  And I don't really like it.

Enter the Panda Portable Washing Machine.  It is small, easy to use, hooks up to your sink, and washes a load with about the amount of water it takes to flush a toilet, compared to the forty gallons a standard washer uses.  I think it will be just the thing to wash our clothes and diapers.  It also features a laundry spinner, sort of like a salad spinner, that gets all the water out so they are almost dry when you hang them up.  I plan on using a retractable line outside and a drying rack indoors in inclement weather, just like I did when we went without a dryer in our first house.

I just ordered mine from e-bay for 159.00, along with a optional 26.00 three year warranty that will repair or replace the machine at any point within three years if it stops working for any reason, with free shipping to send it in.  I think it will be well worth it to know that my investment is protected.  I have also figured that, doing a load each night of our regular clothing plus a load of diapers, I will no longer have to go to the laundry mat except to wash very bulky items like comforters.  The machine should pay itself off in two months if you count the savings of at least $10 a week in quarters for the laundry mat plus the cost we're currently paying for disposable diapers (about $14/week between the two girls).  Our water here is included in our rent, so it's not an additional cost, but with as efficient as the machine is, I don't think it would add much, if any, anyway.

I just ordered and hope it will be here very soon.  After I've been using it for a little bit, I'll let everyone know how it's working out.  I'm super excited!