Living in a Converted School Bus with a Baby: Month 9

A  Good Kind of Tired

We have a busy little girl on her hands. Since she learned to crawl last month, she has been aiming to reach the “forbidden” areas of the bus (i.e. the bathroom and the front half of the bus.” I usually keep the bathroom door carefully closed and latched, but earlier this month I left it oped while changing our daughter’s diaper. I turned to reach for a cloth wipe and she took off at top speed for the open door, laughing gleefully all the while. She can now pull up by grabbing my pant leg or skirt. I won’t be surprised if she is walking next month.

If it were still winter, the bus would be feeling much smaller. As it is, we get outside several times a day. When things start to feel tight or cluttered, a walk followed by a quick clean-up session can work wonders for my attitude. Speaking of getting outside, we took our daughter on her first backpacking trip this month. You can read about the trip here. I’ll be posting tips and tricks for backpacking with a baby over the next two months.

Backpacking with a babyHyas lake

Baby Hygiene: Cloth Diapers and a Composting Toilet

We’ve been using cloth diapers since our daughter was born, but we knew that things would get more difficult once she started eating solid food. We wash our diapers at our host family’s house, but we don’t have a flush toilet that we can use with a diaper sprayer. Knowing this, I looked into options for dealing with baby poop once the baby is eating solid food or drinking formula. I found several options.

First, there is good old fashioned scraping. This works best if the diapers is changed right away. Second, we buy disposable liners for cloth diapers. The solids are caught by the liner, which can go in our composting toilet, and the diaper goes on to the wash. Third, we practice elimination communication (EC). Basically, I’ve learned our baby’s cues and natural timing and sit her on the potty when the time comes. Of course, I have no expectations of her, and I don’t catch everything, but when used with the other two methods, EC helps us keep the diapers stain-free.

Also, our daughter’s comfort with eliminating outside of her diaper was invaluable on our backpacking trip (more on this in a couple of weeks!)

bath in converted bus
Fun times bathing in a bucket!

 

Building Project Update

For those of you who don’t know, we acquired a free 1970’s a-frame in good condition last fall. We bought a piece of property a half mile away and this summer we plan to dig a daylight basement and have a house moving company put the a-frame on the basement. We just got our first round of drawings back from an architect, which means we can work with a general contractor to draw up a budget, go to our bank for financing, and then apply for a permit. I  hope I’ll be able to share physical progress with you soon! Moving the house should be quite the spectacle.

Community Life

As we dream of moving into our new home, there is one part of bus life that will be hard to replace: our community. We live on friend’s property, along with another tiny home dweller. We garden together, eat dinner together once a week, and generally support each other. In contrast, our new property is surrounded by vacation homes. We’ll have to work to connect with other full time neighbors. Of course, we’re only moving 10 minutes away from our friend’s house, so, needless to say, we’ll be keeping in touch.

Tiny House community dinner
Community dinner around the campfire.

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